December 25, 2012

Christmas Day Amuse-Bouche: Caprese Bites

Christmas Day 2012 has been a wonderful, roaring success in this household! My mom came over late yesterday afternoon and we had (traditional in my family) pan fried haddock for supper. Later, we sat in our jammies and watched National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation while eating some bacon wrapped water chestnuts. Mmmmm!

This morning my mom, HOTGI and I had a blast opening gifts and spending time together. It's been a pretty relaxing day here, the turkey is in the oven and we are all still in our jammies. I made my frittata for breakfast for mom and I (added chopped green, red and orange peppers leftover from Saturday's party) and then we all had pancakes for a second breakfast!

Since we're still kinda full this afternoon, nobody wanted lunch but our turkey dinner isn't for another couple hours, I decided to make a nice light snack, Caprese bites! They're pretty simple to make and are the perfect nibbley between meals.

All you need are:
- fresh basil leaves
- some small (cherry or grape) tomatoes
- fresh mozzarella, cut into small bites
- toothpicks
- olive oil & balsamic vinegar, for dipping (optional)

Assemble together with toothpicks, and ta-dah!

Now, in the middle of this plate is a small bowl with olive oil and traditional baslamic vinegar from one of the greatest small shops around, Liquid Gold! If you're ever in Halifax, Nova Scotia check them out, you'll be glad you did! I had it there for dipping the Caprese bites since I think olive oil and balsamic are the perfect complement.

And as I type this, the turkey will be ready to come out of the oven in just about an hour...

Merry Christmas everyone!


December 23, 2012

Warm Bacon Cheese Dip

Since it's been forever and a day since I made my last blog post, this is my official apology. And to make it up to those loyal readers who have checked in just to see nothing new, tonight I am posting a new a recipe. For reals!

Last night, He-of-the-good-ideas and I hosted our annual Christmas party. At one point in the night I was taking some guest's coats upstairs and the noise of the combined voices and laughter of about 20 of our friends all mingling together made my heart so happy. We have some wonderful people in our lives and even if we don't see them very often, it's great to spend a night laughing and having fun with them (and doing shooters and daring each other to do headstands in the kitchen, etc) LOL!

Okay, so I had pretty much everyone ask me for this recipe last night but I feel like it should come with a disclaimer. There is a very good chance you will take one bite thinking "okay, so what, it's a cheese dip" and then before you know it, you're standing over it, shoveling it into your mouth like it holds the meaning to life...

Warm Bacon Cheese Dip
1 8oz package cream cheese, cubed
1 1/2 cups sour cream (don't go getting "light" sour cream either, that's just wrong)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
3/4 cup cooked bacon, crumbled
1/2 cup minced onion

Mix all ingredients together and press into a casserole dish/oven safe dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.
Serve with crackers. My personal recommendation is the original flavour triangle Triscuit, however I had mini pitas, Tostitos, regular Lays ripple chips, Breton minis, and sliced baguette on hand last night for dipping too. Oh, and a very clever Golden Santa Bread that my friend Jenny made!!

This dip is SERIOUSLY addictive... enjoy/I'm sorry.

When I was first putting it together I thought "gawd this makes a lot, I'll have lots of leftovers". No dice. The dish was wiped clean!!!

And since I didn't take a picture of dip after it came out of the oven, please accept this "WTF" picture of HOTGI doing a headstand in our kitchen...

Look what I can do!


August 15, 2012

Spousal Conversation v. 14/08/2012

Yeah, I'm still here. And I THINK about blogging all the time! I have so many things I want to do and share. And once the fall is here and camping season is done and I'm home on weekends again (not that any of these are good excuses) I hope I can get in gear to start posting more!

In the meantime, I have a conversation to share. I'm not saying who is who, but those who know us IRL should know which spouse is whom.


Scene: living room, after supper, watching tv with the dog
Spouse1: *farts* (once again, after an evening of frequent bodily noises)
Spouse2: wow, again?
Spouse1: yeah, sorry.
not sure why I’m so gassy tonight (having said the same thing an hour previous)
Spouse2: huh, what did you have for lunch today?
Spouse1: chili

Ain't marriage grand?


June 26, 2012

Sick & Tired


After weeks of avoiding the illness plagued by so many of my co-workers, it seems now is my turn.

Sore & scratchy throat, body aches, sneezing, splitting headache, nausea... oh it's a good time. Today at work was brutal as I spent most of the day trying to keep my focus and keep the contents of my stomach in place.

So, the post I had planned on making tonight about a project I was going to make with my Cricut is on hold. I am going to bed. At 7pm.

Be well my friends!


June 22, 2012

Friday Rant: Camping in a camper is still camping

In the summertime, HOTGI and I spend most weekends away, in our camper. Whether we’re in a campground or setting up on some land owned by a friend, we like to get away. We also have “hybrid” style camper that we love. We used to camp in a tent with all our food & drinks carefully arranged in coolers. In 2008 we bought a pop-up hardtop camper that we loved. It got a lot of use, and we decided a couple summers ago to upgrade to a hybrid. It suits our needs and since it doesn’t need to have the top raised to pack it (like the tent-trailer did) it’s really convenient to pack and clean, etc. It also has a fridge with separate freezer that is awesome when you pack things like steak and bacon mid-week that you want to stay frozen until you hitch up and leave.

So basically, we love our camper. The dog loves the camper. It has some creature comforts that I definitely appreciate (like a furnace to take the chill out of the air at night), and a bathroom. Last summer HOTGI upgraded our tow vehicle (and his daily driver) to a ¾ ton diesel pickup truck. We both love the truck! It’s proven itself useful time and again over the past year, and it tows the camper like a dream.

Our camper - Summer of 2011 (Photo taken by Cindy Homans-Creighton)

This morning I was lamenting that this weekend’s weather forecast is constant and heavy rain and what a  bummer it’ll be for camping. One of my coworkers said to me, “Why are you complaining? You have a camper! That isn’t even really camping.” Well EXCUSE the crap out of me. It IS camping thank-you-very-much!  Just because I’m not in a tent on the ground does not mean that my weekend is any less of an adventure. Of course I prefer when the sun is shining for a camping weekend since it means we are able to get out and go for walks, play with the dog, ride our bikes or just sit in the sun and enjoy a few beverages. The fact that it is supposed to rain this weekend is a drag, because we’d love to get out and explore! However it is nice that we have a place to sit inside and play cards or travel Scrabble while the weather outside is less than accommodating.

It REALLY grinds my gears when someone says that camping in a trailer/camper “isn’t really camping”. I wasn’t aware there was a set definition of camping that denotes you must be in a canvas shelter with an air mattress and a cooler for it to be valid. If we wanted to “rough it” we have the gear for that too, but if you have the conveniences, why not enjoy them? We work hard to enjoy our toys and getting away from home and (most) technology to spend time with friends or just each other is what it is really all about IMO. There are people out there with much bigger and more luxurious campers/trailers/pushers/motorhomes crammed full of creature comforts and conveniences but I guarantee they still enjoying going out, meeting new friends and having adventures away from home and still consider is camping. Because it is.

So if you find yourself talking to someone who is looking forward to getting away and spending the weekend in their camper, maybe just try and be happy for them.


June 16, 2012

Mr & Mrs Mugs

I have had a busy Saturday of Costco-ing, cleaning, food prepping, etc. and now that the sun is set and I am all but sapped of my energy, I finally got the chance to make a wee gift for the in-laws.

I had cut the vinyl a couple weeks ago, and picked up the white mugs yesterday. I am in LOVE with these! I hope they like them too!

Mr & Mrs Mugs
Handwash only please... kthanxbai!


June 2, 2012

Back from the abyss...

Hey loyal readers (the few of you who still check in here!) I'm back again!

I've been making a good recovery from surgery. Catching pneumonia when your jaw is wired shut isn't something I'd recommend.

So while I was recovering I pinned a lot of things to eat and to make and got it in my head that I should get some vinyl and try out cutting it with my Cricut. After some trial and error with blade depth / speed / pressure I figured out how to do a "kiss cut" and cut just the vinyl and not the backing. Then I ordered some transfer tape to make my decal making easier.

I've been having a blast!!

I've made all sorts of decals for myself and for friends and I have a small handful of some that I made multiples of that I'm hoping to be able to sell to folks I know. I'm not trying to run a business making these, just bring in enough to recoup my costs for the vinyl, tansfer tape, etc in order to buy more to play with!

My most recent, put on my 1981 CJ7:


In the same theme as the KCCO decal, I made a siliar one for the camper!

I think I like that one the best since it's the first one I made!

Then I got creative with the design program I use and made a "subway art" style decal for the inside of the camper, I LOVE this one!


Next week I'll be giving some of my friends the decals I made for them... I can't wait to see my creations on their vehicles!


February 14, 2012

Share a Little Love Song(s)

Hey y'all, it's Valentine's Day. It is a pretty low key in this household what with me home recovering from surgery. He-of-the-good-ideas sent me roses (awwww!) and came home for lunch where he gave me a sweet card and a lovely necklace that I'd spied of Etsy a few weeks ago. He really is a wonderful man, and I am blessed to call him mine.

If you want to play a tune for your Valentine but don't know what song to choose, check out this adorable youtube love-song medley for some inspiration...

Oh, and no heart shaped pizza this year like we usually do as I am not eating anything that isn't fully liquified, and I'm just not in the headspace to try and blend pizza toppings!

Love to y'all!

February 12, 2012

Just a wee Update...

Hello dear friends, how are things?

Me, I am recovering from my surgery. The surgery itself went well, and the surgeon called HOTGI from the operating room to tell him I came through it great. They ended up breaking my jaws in 5 places (2 breaks on the bottom, 3 on the top) and they gave me a splint which sets bewteen my upper and lower teeth and holds everything exactly in place however prevents me from speaking (oh joy). My body has been encountering some challenges in the recovery process, but things are getting easier every day.

The swelling in my face is gradually going down, and I am regaining sensation in more parts of my face with each day that passes. With more sensation however, I have more discomfort. I hesitate to call it pain at this point but it just isn't fun.

I have been spending a lot of time on Pinterest though, and repinning all kinds of recipes that I plan on using once I am able to eat again. I had a friend send me a note on Facebook last night asking if I was trying to torture myself by pinning recipe after recipe while I was unable to eat! Well... I guess I figure I am going to be hungry one way or another, so I may as well look up recipes that will be something to look forward to.

At this very moment, if it weren't for the productive chest cough I seem to have developed (you try coughing up gross crap with your teeth bound together!) I wouldn't be doing too poorly. Jaws wired shut is a huge pain in the ass, but this too shall pass.

I want to share with you a picture of something my mother gave me when I came home from the hospital. She and I went shopping just after my braces went on and we found mug in a shop that made me laugh. Turns out she went back and bought it for me to give to me after this surgery...

Words to live by :)


February 1, 2012

Seriously, where the eff have I been?

I have so many ideas for blog posts. So many pictures I think about taking. Sadly, I'm doing any of it. But really, I'm not *just* being a slacker (but lets face it, I'm a bit of a slacker), there has been a lot on the go/on my mind.

In two days time, I am having jaw surgery. I am scared but prepared. I'm not worried about the actual surgery per se, since I trust my surgeon fully. But I am fiercely anxious about the recovery. With the surgery just a couple days away and one day of work left before I'm off recovering for 4 weeks, there have been a lot of questions. Here are answers to some of them...

- I'll have my jaws tightly bound together for 2 weeks, then looser elastics binding my jaws together for the following 2-4 weeks. The looser bands will allow me to open my jaws just slightly

- I'm not as concerned about pain as much as I am about nausea/vomiting. In the event it does happen though, I will have scissors to cut my elastics

- I will NOT be allowed to use a straw since I'll have a mouth full of stitches. At the very beginning I will be getting my nutrition through thin liquids administered through a syringe or what I can tolerate going through the spaces between my teeth

- I will be staying in the hospital for about 3 days. The pain meds they give are Dilaudid (yep, I asked on my pre-op day) at the beginning, then liquid Advil and liquid Tylenol

- I do have a stash of high protien Boost in my kitchen, but I don't plan on relying on it for my nutrition. I have many other smoothie-options I plan on trying

- Yep, I expect I will get kinda shack-wacky near the end of my recovery time, but I have a bunch of books and movies to keep my occupied and I am hopeful I have lots of visitors, and hope they are okay if I don't say very much!

So yeah, that's what's up. If you have any questions, I will do my best to answer them!

I am going to have my laptop in the hospital, and while I really don't know that I'll have anything really relevant to contribute to this blog, I will be updating my other blog that has chronicled my journey through braces and jaw surgery. Feel free to visit me over there if you think you might be up for it! And yes, the name is "Oral Fixation" but no, there is nothing naughty over there!

I promise to reclaim this blog and post creative and delicious ideas again soon!