Sunday, March 28, 2010


Yesterday was a home day - baking in the morning - a batch of banana chocolate chip muffins (Nigella Express),
some chocolate chip cookies and a batch of breadmaker hot cross buns (Delia Smith online). Then T and I spent some time in the garden (T was digging up gravel for me) - I replanted my rosemary into a lovely terracotta pot that was my anniversary present from D last fall and then I filled the old rosemary pot with bulbs.
After lunch, I went grocery shopping, dropping D and T off on a local walking trail on the way and they raced me home. They won! T picked a bunch of flowers along the way to give to me and his Aunties and all his girlfriends, their mums and his teachers!

More work in the garden in the afternoon, moving things around and adding soil supplements, etc. Here are our garden boots by the door.
Then supper of warm lentil, mushroom and goat cheese salad, sausages and carrots.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

bees and things

T is in love with his new present. His cousins sent him a bee light for his birthday and he LOVES it. It's a crank light so it doesn't need batteries so we love it too. And it is very cute !

Last week it was D's birthday and I took T shopping for a birthday card. While I was perusing the card racks for something not to nauseating to give D, T found a Lego City earthmover. Grr, the toy rack is right next to the card rack. I told him I wasn't going to get it for him. He then piped up that he wanted to give it to D as his birthday present. So it came to be that D came home from work to find a box wrapped in Winnie the Pooh paper (T's choice) and T hopping up and down for D to open his present. Here it is, all assembled.

So T is learning that if you give someone something you really want for yourself, you might get to play with it, but it also belongs to the other person and you have to live with that.

A number of people (you know who you are) have commented about the sorry state of our tea cosy - aka the lovely pink cat tea cosy. So I whipped up a new one, from instructions on Martha Stewart Living and here it can't see but it has a sachet of lavender hidden inside to release a lavender fragrance when placed over a hot tea pot!

And finally, as I sip my tea on this St. Patrick's Day evening, here is the cake I made for preschool today (I'm going to get a reputation!) - gluten free chocolate cake with buttercream frosting - the green is sanding sugar I coloured with green food colouring - and for extra kid pleasing I added green gummy bears and the only green Smartie I could find in our big Smartie bag.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

for mum

September 1931 - March 1986.
Love you and miss you.

Monday, March 8, 2010

A small boy’s love

T is back in swimming lessons again, this time as a dolphin. He loves it! Splashing, jumping, and diving. He’s working his way up because he wants to be a killer whale (next step), then a sea monster (ogopogo) and a sword fish (marlin). For his first lesson last week he confided his hope that he would have Melissa as his teacher again. She was his teacher for Minnows and he had a huge crush on her. When were waiting for T’s lesson to begin, we saw Melissa in the pool so T got very excited. But when the time came for T’s lesson, Melissa told T she was teaching Minnows. T briefly struggled with staying as a Minnow, but I introduced him to his dolphin teacher, Sophie, and she lead him off for class. I spied him jumping, splashing and giving Sophie high-fives and on the way home he said, “Sophie’s very nice. I like her. And maybe when I’m in killer whales I can get another nice teacher.”

As I’ve mentioned before, T is a big hugger. A few weeks ago we were out for dinner with his little friend C and all through dinner she wanted to go give T a hug. And yesterday, T was petting Gretel (our cat) while she was in her basket – scratching her head which she loves, so she was purring away. T was apparently so overwhelmed with love for our kitty, that he crawled into her basket to give her a hug! (I did ensure the hug happened without flattening the cat.)

One night last week, while I was cooking dinner, T appeared by my side and handed me an envelope addressed “to my Mommy”. Inside was a sheet of paper that read “I love you Mommy. T xxoo”. (He had a little bit of help with the writing from Daddy!)

I don’t know how our boy is so big-hearted and full of love with a reserved dad and prickly mum but I hope he always is and that the world doesn’t change him too much.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I've been trying to use things from the freezer lately, mainly as D and everyone else thinks I have too much food in my freezer! So I've excavated down to last summer's fruit and have been making crumbles. (Side note: they are yummy for breakfast!)

First up was this pear crumble. The fruit was three pears peeled, cored and sliced, with 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon, 2 tsp nutmeg, 1 tbsp flour and a squeeze of lemon juice. The crumble topping was made with 1/4 cup oats, 1/4 c brown sugar, 1/4 c flour and 2 tbsp butter all processed together. The crumble mix was poured over the pears in a greased baking dish and baked for 45 minutes at 350 deg F.

Then about a week later I made a mixed fruit crumble. The fruit was blackberries, white peaches and nectarines mixed with ~ 1 c sugar, 2 tsp cinnamon, 1 tsp nutmeg, 2 tbsp flour and a squeeze of lemon juice. For the crumble topping I ground up ~ 10 cinnamon spice cookies (ginger snaps are great also) plus 1/4 oats and 1/4 c bronw sugar and 2 tbsp butter all processed together. The fruit is poured into a greased baking dish and covered with the crumble mix and baked at 350 deg F for ~ 45 minutes.

And then for a change of pace, I made a lemon yogurt cake.

roasted cauliflower tart

Deb over at posted a recipe for roasted cauliflower tart a couple of weeks ago and made it sound so delicious I had to make it. So I roasted the cauliflower and carmelized the onion.
I even made the pastry according to her recipe and it worked this time (last time I made it for a quiche and it didn't really form into a dough in the food processor so I pressed the crumbs into the pie plate until they turned into dough - totally my issue as I'm pastry phobic - and am always afraid to handle it because I don't want to make a tough pastry). This is the pastry brushed with dijon mustard.

Sprinkle the onions over the mustard pastry and add the cauliflower.

I made the custard with ricotta and sour cream rather than the marscapone called for in the recipe as I've never been able to find marscapone in my grocery store (probably operator error as in I'm looking in the wrong cheese area). Then I popped it into the oven and let the smell of cheesy goodness fill the house.

Note - I didn't use either the truffle oil or the truffle salt called for in the recipe and it was still yummy!

dreaming of summer

My seeds have arrived and my seed potatoes. So now it is time to plan out my garden. I had ordered some potato grow bags but they are on backorder. So I'm looking for alternatives on line. And trying to pick up tips for growing veggies along the way. T was digging in the garden yesterday with his truck and his earthmover dug up another purple potato which can be another seed potato for this summer.

In the meantime I started knitting a sweater for myself and have a long way to go with it but it is good to do something when I'm watching TV.

friday night supper

After a busy week, I was out of inspiration for when supper time rolled around on Friday night. Added to that was that we had eaten our regular Friday night fare - chicken strips and fries on Monday night on my last late shift and I wanted something different. So I made cheese and mushroom risotto. I sauted some onion and sliced mushrooms in a pat of butter over medium heat.
Once they were soft, I added 2 cups of arborio rice and cooked the rice for about 5 minutes. Then I added the first of 4 cups of vegetable stock and stirred. I added the stock in 1 cup intervals because I was trying to do other things around the kitchen so I didn't stir as much as you should with risotto. After 4 cups of broth, I added ~ 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese,
~ 1 tsp of mustard powder, a splash of cream and served with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese.
Yummy comfort food!