February 27, 2011

Blueberry bran muffins can be easy as 1, 2, 3

Muffins are wonderful. They are soft delicious handheld treats that go well with tea. I have lots of delicious muffin recipes that I love to break out on weekends for a nice treat. However, sometimes there are weekends like this one, where I am fighting off some sort of chest cold or something and all I really want to do is sip warm drinks and lounge on the couch.

I was taking inventory of what is in my basement pantry earlier today and I spied a package of Quaker bran muffin mix. So I brought it upstairs with me figuring I'd tweak it a bit for a yummy easy treat.

3 cups (about half the package) of the muffin mix
1 1/3 cups + 1 tablespoon water
1/4 cup ground flax
1 tsp cinnamon
Frozen blueberries

Mix everything together and pour into paper liner filled muffin tin. Bake for 20-22 minutes.

I love the one in the top row, third from the left... all blueberry-explodey and delicious looking

No, they aren't "scratch" muffins, but they were modified to suit my tastes and I made them in my kitchen and I am happy with them. They will make great morning snacks at work this week!

For the remaining half of the bran muffin mix in the cupboard, I am considering what I might do to that batch... chopped apples? shredded carrot? crushed pineapple? cranberries? the possibilites are endless!

Now excuse me while I boil the kettle for tea for the umpteenth time this weekend and curl up under a blanket to watch tv and try to feel better.


February 20, 2011

I'm getting too old to party like this...

I planned on making a nice blog post this Sunday about something I made from my kitchen or my sewing machine. Instead, after I got home from my night away all I managed was showering and napping and watching NASCAR with He-of-the-good-ideas. I don't party much anymore and the combination of a late night and alcohol has left me with a tinge of a hangover reminiscent of days gone by. I doubt my tolerance is improving, I'm just better at pacing myself.

Last night I was out with a wonderful group of women for a Girls Night Out event hosted by the Pictou County chapter of the Canadian Progress Club. The theme of the night was "Little Black Dress" and we all dressed for the occassion in pretty black dresses and cute shoes. A few of us even stood out by wearing black bow-ties. It was a blast! I mean, the "adult entertainment" that was on stage was a bit more than we expected but the girls I was with made the night so much fun. I wish I was making a post that included pictures but I didn't bring my camera and I don't have any from the girls I was out with. If any that are publish-able come my way, I'll update this post.

Things learned:
- forgetting to take my lactose-intolerance pills can be very bad
- moonshine + peach jello = devestatingly yummy shooters
- Dr. Scholls Fast Flats are brilliant and every woman needs to know about them
- four male strippers shaking their packages on stage gets boring
- being the first people on the dance floor means you're here to party!
- Four women can push a taxi out of a snowbank at 1am like nobodys business

I met so many wonderful women last night, and I regrettably don't remember everyone's names but I would definately spend time with each and every one of them again. Thank you so much to all of you for being such a big part of my weekend!


February 17, 2011

Delicious calories in a bowl!

Tonight we decided it was a good idea to get rid of some more of the turkey in the fridge. It takes two people a while to go through as much leftover turkey as we had! The rest of the turkey meat is being chopped up and frozen tonight so it can be brought out at a future date to be made into something yummy.

So it was deemed that McCain shoestring oven fries would be the companion to tonight's turkey feast. On my bus trip home, I got to thinking... I have leftover gravy in the fridge as well as some mozzarella cheese, and oooh that will be all kinds of delicious combined! It might be a bastardization of traditional poutine, but MAN it was good!

Chopped turkey, fries, small cubes of mozzarella, gravy and some pepper


And no, I am not ever considering the amount of delicious fat and calories in this supper, I just enjoyed it. However I now I feel as though I though I should go eat a stalk of celery or a green pepper or something.


February 15, 2011

Get Stuffed!

I made a turkey dinner last weekend and decided it was high time to make dressing from scratch. In the past I have relied on the kindness of my mother to make her recipe or break out a box of stovetop. It was time. I browsed the internet and talked to friends about how they make their dressing and got some good base ideas, but knew I’d be winging it.
Okay, you wanna make my yummy dressing?
First off, get a loaf of bread from a bakery (bakery department of the supermarket, whatever) but just make sure you get the sort of bread that would go stale if left in its bag on the counter as opposed to going mouldy. The less preservatives, the better. But isn’t that the case with most foods we consume?
Okay, take your bread and cut/tear it into small pieces. Helpful hint: buy it pre-sliced!

Since I suffer from arthritis in my hands, I find it easier to use a pair of kitchen shears to get the bread into bits

Cut up a few stalks of celery, leaves and all into small bits

And chop up a medium onion nice and small

There we are... good to go!
Melt a cup of butter in a pan over medium heat

Once it has a nice bubble going on, toss in the celery and onion

Add in the following: 1 tablespoon salt (it sounds like a lot but once cooked it isn’t very strong, but feel free to reduce the amount), 1 teaspoon pepper, 2 tablespoons summer savoury, 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, ½ teaspoon sage and cook for another 3-5 minutes

Slowly incorporate the butter/celery/onion into the bowl of bread bits.
Make sure cubes are thoroughly coated. If you want your dressing a bit more moist, add in some low-sodium chicken broth

At this point you can stuff your turkey (a stuffing bag makes this super easy and tidy) or press lightly into a casserole dish and bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes. Enjoy!!

I think next time I might add in some finely chopped cooked bacon to the mix for added flavour. Hmm and I would probably reduce the salt too.
Quick note... during my online meanderings, I learned if it is going inside the bird it is called “stuffing” and if it is baked separately, it is called “dressing”.


February 14, 2011

It's Love -n- Smooches Day

In keeping with our non-traditional tradition,
we placed our annual order for heart shaped pizzas from Boston Pizza!

We usually share one but this year we decided to order two,
so each of us got our favourites!

He-of-the-good-ideas got the Deluxe:

And I got Hawaiian!

We exchanged cards and He-of-the-good-ideas managed to make his meaningful and funny at the same time. He's a really great card chooser. Yup, I'm a lucky gal.

Oh, and he got me a plant. Neither of us have any idea what it is as the little care tag isn't in the soil so I'll have to do some research, but if you know what it is, please leave me a comment and let me know!

And our favourite furry Valentine even posed for me :)

No chocolate plz, just belly rubs!

Happy Valentine's Day y'all!


February 13, 2011

Mmmm cupcakes

He-of-the-good-ideas isn't a huge fan of cake, however he does enjoy a rainbow-bit cake (yep, mix from a box!) so that is what I made as a sweet celebratory treat for his birthday!!

Mmmm candy sprinkles!!

LOVE my cupcake stand! Bought it an an auction last fall :)

Oh a cupcake is such a sweet delicious treat!


February 11, 2011

Happy Birthday to mah Hubby!!

Today, He-of-the-good-ideas has a birthday.

He is my sweetheart, my rock, my cheerleader, my confidant... the most sweet and wonderful man and I am blessed to call him my friend and my husband.

He asked for one thing for his birthday. He never asks for anything for his birthday. But this year he sent me an email from work saying he would really like Apple TV for his birthday gift. I knew nothing of what it was or what it did, but he said he really wanted it so I decided he should have it! I went online and ordered it right away and it was in my hands 4 business days later!

So today after we got home from work, I gave him a card with a clue, that led him to his first gift (a new cutting board) that I had taped another clue on that led him to the wrapped Apple TV hidden in the shower. He's a very happy guy and I'm really glad he loves his presents!

Happy birthday darlin! I love you!


February 10, 2011

Grocery Store Savings FAIL

I was at the grocery store last night picking up some things for the birthday dinner I am making for He-of-the-good-ideas this weekend as well as picking up a few things we had run out of. We love to marinade pork in Kikkoman Teriyaki sauce and when I went to pick out a new bottle I saw that it was on sale. Score. Not a great sale, about 10 cents off, but I like saving money where I can. Then I noticed the bottle next to it (Roasted Garlic), had a shelf sticker advertising it being on sale as well…

Now, math has never been my strong suit but I am fairly sure THAT is not a good deal. And no, I didn't tell the store about the sign… by the time I checked out it was 9:45pm and I just wanted to go home. Besides, the people that are at Customer Service at that time of night are usually just the ones who drew the short straw for scheduling and don't want to be there, let alone deal with customers with random issues.


February 8, 2011

Sick Day DIY

Yesterday I stayed home from work with some sort of icky stomach bug. It seems to have (mostly) passed and I am still not 100% but I went in to work today since the thought of my work potentially building up gives me hives.
Even though yesterday was a day of weak tea and doggie snuggles, I actually took the chance to poke through a few things in my sewing/craft/yoga room.
Firstly, I repurposed an empty salad dressing jar that He-of-the-good-ideas sighed when I washed and kept once it was empty. Now it has a nice sparkly ribbon affixed to the lid and it holds hot-glue sticks. Useful and pretty! Packrats unite!

Then I made this...

... srsly cute pincushion! It is an empty tuna can with popping corn in the bottom (for weight) and a scrap of fabric stuffed with the innards of a dog toy that didn’t make it. Oh, and a piece of black satin ribbon to help disguise the can. I really could have taken more time to make the ribbon look more polished, but I was feeling cruddy and just wanted results in my hands.
Then I spied my collection on thread on the windowsill.

I have asked He-of-the-good-ideas to make me a spool rack and he says he will. I believe him; I just don’t know that I will see it completed and hanging up any time soon. Since it isn’t good for thread to live in direct sunlight like it has been, I figured the spools would be best boxed up.

(Oh, the H on some of the spools is a reminder to me that there is only a little bit left on the spool and to only use it for hand sewing)
The box itself was saved from Christmas because it reminds me of the surprise and glee I felt when I first unwrapped it. I was (am) the happy recipient of a pretty Coach wristlet that He-of-the-good-ideas thought of all on his own! Clever husband.

Then I stuck pins in my new pincushion

And with my work surface all nice and tidy, I felt the urge to cut some fabric. So I made a scrunchie. Yes, I said a scrunchie.

Why a scrunchie you ask? I mean the 90’s are far behind us and I am not stuck in a time warp. Well, if I shower and dry my hair before bed, when I wake up in the morning I am met with a shockingly unflattering nest of hair. Tying it back with an elastic leaves that kink in my hair that I am not a fan of, and a scrunchie seemed like a good solution. So another scrap of fabric from my stash was hauled out, trimmed and cut and stitched into a hair accessory worthy of slouch socks and off the shoulder sweatshirts!

Let’s not forget the scrunchie as a fashion accessory!

Now I am one totally rad stylin’ sleepin gal!
As far as sick days go, it was pretty "meh" but I did accomplish a couple things while puttering around and staying close to that room with porcelain throne.


February 7, 2011

I wish to sup upon a coconut

In April of 2009 I made my first trip to a tropical destination. He-of-the-good-ideas and I along with 3 other couples went on an all-inclusive vacation Cuba for a week (I call it our honeymoon since we didn’t take a big vacation after we were married the year before). I loved the heat most of all, but second to that, the experience of drinking the sweet milk of a coconut through a hole hacked into the top by a sweet Cuban man who spoke no English.  I remember standing in the middle of this sweet little clutch of buildings that made up the home of this quaint little family and reluctantly taking a sip of the nectar inside a freshly picked coconut, just handed to me. I figured I would be polite and take a taste, already bracing myself for what I imagined was a sweetness so foul. Then... hmmmmh. Well isn’t that lovely? The milk of a fresh coconut is indeed sweet, though not as I expected. It is fresh and light and simply delicious and oddly refreshing.
And on this chilly day that has followed so many other cold days, with thoughts of tropical vacations dancing through my mind and the memory of the delicate nectar of a fresh coconut on my tongue, I long to get away. It isn’t in the cards for us this year so instead I’ll put up the heat a little, close my eyes and dream of tropical sun on my skin.


February 4, 2011

Orange Juice vs. Erections

So He-of-the-good-ideas and I are watching tv tonight (okay, his eyes are closed and I am mastering the art of surfing the internet while the tv is on) when I hear a commercial with a familiar catchy tune...

Okay... so am I the only one who hears that song and immediately thinks of THIS commerical?

I love orange juice. To be specific, I love Tropicana orange juice. To the point where He-of-the-good-ideas and I regularly buy 8 litres of it at a time. So now, whenever I go to pour myself a glass of that sweet orange nectar does this mean my poor tiny brain is going to think about erections?

Well, lets certainly hope so!


February 2, 2011

Happy Furry Prognosticator Day!

It is the second day of February. As such, it's the day when we look to a member of the rodent family – the groundhog – to allow us to blindly celebrate or curse the reaction of said rodent to his shadow. WTF. What sort of people are we that celebrate this perfectly weird thing? I grew up hearing about Shubenacadie Sam and watched the news every February 2nd to see if he saw his shadow.

My region is in the middle of a wild snowstorm right now, but it didn’t start till just after lunch and it would seem that we are set to have an early spring. We shall see!
Oh that snowstorm... well, this was our deck a couple hours ago:

The snow has been falling steadily since and the table is even deeper under a snow duvet. It was a great time to hang out in a got tub though! However getting out was really hard!!

Happy Groundhog Day everyone!