Category Archives: What’s for Dinner

Dinner/Food Recipes

Quitting, Cupcakes, and Cuteness (in no particular order).

**Disclaimer**

This blog post was written ….probably about 2 months ago-ish.  I’m now just posting it.  So sue me.  I had a couple sentences to add, and some pictures to upload, so no I didn’t just make Halloween cupcakes, but yes I am just blogging about it now.  Deal with it.

What up!

Ok so let’s chat shall we?

  1. I’ve quit Shoppers Drug Mart.
  2.  I made some awesome Halloween cupcakes.
  3. My friends all have babies.

1. Au Revoir ma famille de Pharmaprix! (Good-bye my Shoppers Drug Mart family!)

Sigh.

After 14+ years of service at various locations throughout southwestern Ontario, I’ve FINALLY given up my discount and polyester pants.  NO, I did not get a permanent teaching job… BUT I decided that the one or two shifts a week weren’t worth the long days and late nights, and worrying about booking off weekends, and working holidays.

What am I doing with all my extra time?  Currently, a little extra house work and a little extra baking.  Just knowing that I can come home and relax makes me feel so good though.  Yay to only having one job!! 🙂

2.  I made some super cute Halloween cupcakes, and one of my loyal followers (Hi Kristen!) requested that I blog about them!

Honestly, all they really were, were from the box chocolate cupcake mix, and creativity (and google of course!).

I just used leftover icing from other projects, moulding chocolate wafers from Micheal’s, and icing writers (the little gel tubes of icing for fine stuff).

I think if I had not left them to the very last minute they might have looked a little bit better, but for grade 4 students… they were just fine!

Scaaaaaaaaaaaarrrry!

3.  It’s about that time…

I’m surrounded by babies!  (Not that there’s anything wrong with that!)

I guess it’s that time in our lives where the baby clock starts ticking and reminding us that if you’d like to be a mommy or daddy, the time is upon us.  Go back a couple years, and there were wedding showers galore.  Now?  Baby showers.

Let me tell you this- my friends might have the cutest babies ever.  Just saying.  I have for real fallen in love with one in particular, possibly because I’ve been able to spend so much time with him and his mom!  This pic was taken by an awesome photographer (also a friend!) named Aunika Hinks…  if you do travel to her website (and I recommend that you do!), you will find a couple familiar faces; as I said a lot of my friends have young babies right now!

Ladies and Gentlemen,

May I present to you, my main man Cole!

He’s much bigger now!  And totally looks like a toddler instead of an infant.   So fricken cute!

Another recent baby to be welcomed to the world is Abigail, who is also on Aunika’s website!  Cute cute cute!

What is that on her head you ask?  Oh!  Why it’s a headband that I made for her!  I also made her a tutu….

I think I’m trying to make up for the fact that I’ve only met her a couple times by making her cool stuff. So far it’s working!

Anywho, that’s it for now.

New post to come soon.  For real.  I’ve been baking, and crafting, and well just enjoying life in general.  Lots of blog worthy stories to come! 🙂

Peace!

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‘Twas a Year of Firsts….

So, I started this blog just over a year ago, and my goal was to blog about making things, or doing things I’ve never done before.  I think I’ve been somewhat successful non?

Let’s look back and see shall we?

  • I created this blog. (Sweet!)
  • All our wedding stuff was DIY’ed and boy am I glad that is over!  (Though secretly I loved it!) 😛
  • I played on a dodgeball team! (AND am going to play again!!)
  • Tried Sushi for the first time. (Sooooooooooo good!)
  • Traveled to New Orleans and San Francisco.
  • Tried a Chip Buddy.  (If you’ve never had it, look it up.  It’s quite tasty, and yet so simple!)
  • Completed my first AQ for teaching.
  • Created a heck of a lot of Monday Meals! (All were recipes I’ve never tried before!)
  • Held an ugly sweater party! (Which I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do!) (Which got real hot real quick)
  • Walked in a 10 mile “race“.  (Race is in quotations simply because it’s clear myself, Kathy, and Eileen were not racing.)
  • Created my first hair piece for someone! (And I don’t even have pictures…)
  • Ate a bug.  Gross.  Does not taste like nothing.  Tastes like gross.
  • Drank beer out of a glass boot.
  • Got married.  (Definitely something I’ve never done before! :P)
  • Took a Bollywood class (then taught the dance to about a hundred kids!)
  • Took a Belly dance class.
  • Chose the colours for, and painted a whole room by myself.  Nope, never done this before.  Might not be 100% finished yet, but still painted none the less!
  • Went to an NKOTB concert! Woot woot! (not to mention BSB too!)

Ummmmm….I feel like I’ve done more, or made more.  It’s actually quite hard to sum up your accomplishments/actions from a whole year.

Oh yes one more for sure…

If you’ve never been, then what are you waiting for?!?

It’s super big, full of super fun rides, super awesome fair food to eat, super neat booths to see,  it’s just super period.  And I get to blog about it!

Needless to say I’m really excited- when I started this blog it was really just to share the fun and crazy things I get up to, or talk about getting up to.  But the more I do it, the more I realize I quite enjoy writing and really enjoy reading people’s reactions to them.  I love seeing that I have an email to tell me that someone has commented -It kind of makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

Wow that got kinda emosh.

Anywho, I’m super excited about the contest win, and VERY flattered to be chosen!

Here’s to another year of silly projects, new experiences, and hopefully entertained readers! 🙂

PS

For your viewing pleasure, here are some pics from the last year that you might enjoy!

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Monday Meals- broccoli-carrot-pork-orange-walnut stir-fry

**This post has been sitting in my drafts since Monday.  I have been trying to add pictures, but WordPress keeps telling me there is an error.  So, here’s the post sans pics, when/if I’m ever allowed to add them, I will update with lovely photos. 🙂 **

Yummmmmmmmmmm!

So I showed up at work last night when I wasn’t scheduled.  First time in 14 years.  Awesome.  It was exciting to know that I got the night off though.  What did I do with those extra 6 hours?  I made stir-fry.  AND dessert.  Super ambitious.

I ended up combining 2 different stir-fry recipes I found on the Kraft Canada website: Rush-Hour Stir-fry, and Citrus Pork Stir-fry.  So friggen good!

Stir-fry is easy, but this stir-fry= super duper easy.  I went to Loblaws and ended up buying carrot slaw, and broccoli slaw.  First of all, I had no idea you could buy these already made.  They’re like pre-made salad in a bag- president’s choice makes them, so they’re super cheap too.  Yay for not shredding carrots and broccoli!!  AND I already had frozen “asian style” veggies (president’s choice as well!) in the freezer, so already 75% of my ingredients done.

Ok wait.  I’m not really setting this up right.

1. I sliced 3 thin pork chops into strips, and fried with a spray oil.  This took like 4 minutes.

2. Next, I added Asian Sesame salad dressing, and soy sauce.

3. I put all my carrot slaw, and broccoli slaw into the pan.

4. Lastly, I added a tiny bit of pineapple, walnuts (instead of cashews), and a couple slices of orange.

That’s it  You don’t want to cook the slaw for long- just a couple minutes to soften it up a bit.

Serve over rice, or eat on its own.  Either way it’s pretty damn delicious, and fairly healthy.

Woot woot!

Oh I almost forgot my dessert.

Super easy as welllllllllll!

It’s a twist on strawberry shortcake.  (I didn’t completely follow the recipe- I made it my own a bit.

1. Mix a cup of cool whip with a package of Vanilla pudding powder.  Mix that with a can of crushed pineapple.

2. Next, very carefully cut those sponge-cakey things you often find around the strawberries in half.  Layer on the pineapple mixture in between, then also more on top of the top layer.  On the very top add some strawberries!

Yummmmmmmmmm!

Try them both.  They were so super easy, and so super delicious.

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MondayMeals- Shepard’s Pie

So good!

Monday Meals!  Monday Meals!

So last week I finally got to try the recipe I’ve been wanting to do for a while- Shepard’s Pie. 

I was excited to try this one, not only because it is so yummy, but because I would also get to kill 2 birds with one stone.  1. I’ve never made Shepard’s pie before, and 2. I’ve never made mashed potatoes before!  For those of you who may not know (for whatever reason), Shepard’s pie is a 3 layer masterpiece- bottom layer of beef, then veggies, then mashed potatoes.  Mmmmm!

This week, I don’t think I’ll go through the whole recipe- you can look at it yourself if you click here!  BUT I will say this- here are a couple of things to be aware of when making this meal.

1.  I didn’t make enough mashed potatoes.  I mean I could have just used the first round, and it would have looked budget, but still tasted good.  I just didn’t want my first Shepard’s pie to go out like that though.  So after I had piled all the beef, then corn, then the potatoes I had into the dish, I left it to sit for like 30 minutes while I again, boiled water, then cooked the potatoes, then mashed them.  Ugh.  Was it worth it?  YES!  the 2nd round of potatoes were much mashier, and creamier, and better all together. (the first round were more clumpy than anything, but blended in none the less.)

2.  The recipe lied about the number of potatoes needed to make this pie. (See number 1.)

3.  Guinness tastes sooooooooooooooooooo much better when it is cooked with, rather than drinking it straight!  Ahhhhhhhhhh!  I know!  I’m Irish, but I just don’t like to drink the stuff.  Truth be told, when I visited the Guinness brewery, I wasted my whole glass of Guinness.  Didn’t really drink more than one sip!  Anywho, back to the pie- you’re probably thinking, Erin- Guinness isn’t even on the list of ingredients!  No, it’s not you’re right!  BUT I always read the suggestions or comments to the recipes, and in this case someone suggested using Guinness while cooking the beef to thicken it up.  Well, it didn’t really thicken anything up in my case (I also might not have done it correctly though), but boy did it ever smell and taste delicious!  Try it for real! Oh, I also added mushrooms and onions to the beef (not the carrots and peas).  Also, my pie was built like so (in case you didn’t figure it out already!) : bottom layer was beef, then corn, then mashed potatoes! (Just like Dad used to make!)

4.  It’s really hard to mess this up! 🙂

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Alright.  That’s it for tonight.  And yes, I do know it isn’t Monday any longer, but I started writing this last night in hopes of making it before midnight and didn’t get it done!  Deal with it!

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Monday Meal!

Yay for a Monday Meals that actually occurs on a Monday!

So, thanks to Laura McD. who sent me this recipe AGES and AGES ago, I present to you:  Root beer Pulled Pork!  (aka the easiest meal ever!)

Cooking in the root beer

So here’s what you need:

  1. About 2 2L bottle of Root beer.  Any brand will do.
  2. Some pork.  Small enough to fit in your slow cooker, but big enough so you’ll have lots!
  3. A slow cooker.
  4. Onions.
  5. A bottle of BBQ sauce.  (I used Diana Sauce)

Ok, so now you have all that yummy stuff, you can start!

So put the pork into the slow cooker.  Pour in root beer until the pork is completely covered.  Depending on how big your slow cooker, and pork roast is you may need less, or more than just one 2L bottle.  I only needed one.  Next you put it on high for 5 hours, or until the pork comes apart real easy with a fork.

Pulling the pork.... that's what she said? (I think I'm reaching for that one!) 😛

After 5 hours, drain the pop out of the slow cooker, and pull apart all the pork. It should come off super easy.  And it did kind of come off easy for me.  I probably should have cooked it on high for a bit longer though.  Next, when it’s all pulled apart, pour in your bbq sauce.  If you like it saucey, then put in lots, if not, use your own discretion.

If you want to put the onions in, you can now…again if you like onions, put lots in, if not, don’t put any in.  Mix it all around, and keep it on warm until you eat. Yummmmmmmmmy!  And so super easy.  I mean all you have to really do it cut onions, and pour things out of a bottle.  Easy peasy.

Put it on a bun, eat it straight- it’s so good I actually did that for lunch a couple days in a row! 🙂

There ya have it folks, a fool proof Pulled Pork recipe.

BBQy pork! Mmmmmmmmmmmm

Until next time,

Help control the pet population. Have your pet spayed or neutered.     -Who can tell me where that line is from?! 🙂

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Monday/Tuesday Meals/Desserts

mmmmmm!

what what!

So when I got back from my 30th birthday trip, I decided to recreate some brownies that my friend Bai made my first night in Cali.  Didn’t work.  I don’t know what happened.  Maybe the sugar didn’t melt into the chocolate the way it was supposed to, perhaps putting them in the refrigerator when the recipe said store at room temperature did it.  But whatever it was the brownies were hard, and all stuck together like cement.  It was gross.  AND very inedible.

So last night I decided to re-recreate these suckers! 

Here is the recipe:

(FYI I was totally going to type it all out until I realized Bai sent it to me over email!  Yay copy and paste! 🙂 )

Classic Brownies
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated

1 cup (4 ounces) pecans or walnuts, chopped medium (optional)
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) cake flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
6 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped finely
12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into six 1-inch pieces
2 1/4 cups (15 3/4 ounces) sugar
4 large eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract

  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position; heat oven to 325 degrees. Cut 18-inch length foil and fold lengthwise to 8-inch width. Fit foil into length of 13 by 9-inch baking dish, pushing it into corners and up sides of pan; allow excess to overhand pan edges. Cut 14-inch length foil and, if using extra-wide foil, fold lengthwise to 12-inch width; fit into width of baking pan in same manner, perpendicular to first sheet. Spray foil-lined pan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. If using nuts, spread nuts evenly on rimmed baking sheet and toast in oven until fragrant, 5 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  3. Whisk to combine flour, salt, and baking powder in medium bowl; set aside.
  4. Melt chocolate and butter in large heatproof bowl set over saucepan of almost-simmering water, stirring occasionally, until smooth. (Alternatively, in microwave, heat butter and chocolate in large microwave-safe bowl on high for 45 seconds, then stir and heat for 30 seconds more. Stir again, and, if necessary, repeat in 15-second increments; do not let chocolate burn.) When chocolate mixture is completely smooth, remove bowl from saucepan and gradually whisk in sugar. Add eggs on at a time, whisking after each addition until thoroughly combined. Whisk in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three additions, folding with rubber spatula until batter is completely smooth and homogeneous.
  5. Transfer batter to prepared pan; using spatula, spread batter into corners of pan and smooth surface. Sprinkle toasted nuts (if using) evenly over batter and bake until toothpick or wooden skewer inserted into center of brownies comes out with few moist crumbs attached, 30 to 35 minutes. Cool on wire rack to room temperature, about 2 hours, then remove brownies from pan by lifting foil overhang. Cut brownies into 2-inch squares and serve. (Store leftovers in airtight container at room temperature, for up to 3 days, or, ahem, in the freezer until your resistance gets the better of you.)

So yea.  When I started mixing the sugar into the melted chocolate, it was looking really lumpy AGAIN, but I didn’t freak out….I just continued.  Also, Bai gave me a few tips before starting this time- try using cake flour as opposed to regular flour, it will be fluffier, and this tip he gave me while in California- use high-end chocolate.  It does make a difference.  Seriously.  Aside from dinner today, brownies was all I ate.  I love them. 

Long story short, they did turn out.  Though I didn’t wait for them to cool completely, so they are all in like weirdly shaped clumps in the tupperware, but they are fantastically good weirdly shaped clumps, so no worries! 🙂

finished product!

the aftermath :S

 

Oh, before I forget, funny story!  While in San Fran, I discovered that Ghirardelli Chocolate is made there.  Sooooo good!  Which is the chocolate Bai used to make his brownies.  So when I got back, naturally I tried to find some here.  I tried everywhere!  grocery stores, Wal-Mart, Pharmacies, Bulk Barns.  You named it, I tried it.  I then went to Facebook to appeal to friends to see who knew where to get some!  Well, I learned a couple of things then.

1.  There is a lindt warehouse in Mississauga.  Dangerous!

2. Roger Leavens is a man of his word. 

Roger is a friend of my husband.  (Well ok, he is my friend too :P)  Anywho, he lives in the Tdot, and replied that he would mail me some.  2 days later, I got an Xpress post package delivered FULL of chocolate! 

Thanks Roger!

 Keep in mind there are 2 bars missing that I used to bake with!  It was an exciting piece of mail to say the least!  I also ended up getting a belated birthday gift from my sister in-laws of ghirardell chocolate too, which was also very exciting.  I guess Facebook can be good for something after all! 🙂

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Tuesday Meals…Mardi Gras Edition!

Mardi Gras Parade!

So as you all know (if you’ve been reading the blog!) I visited New Orleans just about a month ago.  Well, today is Mardi Gras, otherwise known as Pancake Tuesday/Shrove Tuesday/Fat Tuesday.  In honour of today, I decided to go all out and make pancakes! 

Pancakes=easy right?  Well I guess it depends on what kind of pancakes you’re making.  Since I decided to make pancakes for dinner, I tried to recreate a favourite recipe of my gramma’s (and yes I know I spelled grandma wrong, but that’s just how I spell it!)- potato pancakes.  It’s never really been a super fave of mine…I’m a texture person, and frankly pancakes in general are just a tad too mushy for me.  HOWEVER, when I was in San Fran- blog about that still to come (I’m in the process of writing it!), we went to a German restaurant/bar, and we had the BEST potato pancakes EVER!  They weren’t even really pancakes, they were more like cakes.  Super good potato cakes.  Mmmmmm!

So, I looked up some recipes, and they all basically said you have to grate potatoes, and all of them basically said that grating them sucked.

I don’t really know what kind of potatoes they were grating, but it look like 4 minutes total, and it was pretty fricken easy.  Take that potato pancake recipe writers!

Ok, so you basically grate potatoes, then…. well to be honest I didn’t really follow a recipe.  As per usual I guess!  Matt came home and got on the computer, and wouldn’t get off it, so I kind of remembered what was in most of the recipes, and just went from memory. 

Here’s what I did put in them:

  • grated potato
  • an egg
  • about 2 table spoons of flour
  • chopped onion

I think that’s it.  Oh- I did use seasoned salt.  But that’s it.  I basically just mushed them into balls, put them in a frying pan, and waited until they looked brown.  Mine didn’t really ever get brown.  In fact, while cooking I got really disappointed because they looked almost green.  I think it might have been the EVOO I used in the pan, but I can’t really be sure- I’ve never made these before!

fry 'em up!

Anywho, I only made 4 because I wasn’t sure about them, but they were actually really good, and Matt was sad I didn’t make more.

Because we were still hungry………

I ALSO MADE CREPES! 

I was very ambitious tonight!

So a little side story here…. when I was little my gramma used to make me “pancakes”.  I loved them.  She’d put apples, or blue berries in them, or just make them plain with a bit of sugar.  They were delicious!  She still makes them today and I love them.  However, she was making crepes.  I did not know this.  Then one day I slept over at a friend’s house, and her mom said she was making us pancakes for breakfast.  Well they were much different from my gramma’s, and I didn’t like how mushy they were.  Those were real pancakes.  😛  So tonight my friends, I also attempted to make apple cinnamon crepes!

I did follow a recipe.  But really it’s just all about a good balance between flour, milk, eggs and water.  Seriously.  Matt was shocked that there was nothing really special about the ingredients.

Here’s how I made them:

  1. Mix 2 eggs, 1/2 cup milk, 1/2 cup water, and 2 tablespoons of melted butter until it’s smooth.  (Use a whisk!)
  2. Whisk in 1 cup of flour until it’s smooth.
  3. Cut up an apple into tiny pieces.  Add them to the mixture.
  4. Add sugar and cinnamon to taste. 
  5. Cook in a frying pan, or griddle like I did!!! (We got it as a wedding gift, and it was so handy and awesome!)

Gooey-appley crepey goodness!

Not sure why, but I didn't actually take a picture of the crepes cooking. None the less, here's the griddle!

Mmmmmmm!

That’s it yo.  If you want them thinner, add more liquid, if you like them thicker, do a tiny bit less water/milk.

Yay to pancake Tuesday!  Now I have pancakes for lunch tomorrow too! 🙂  Woot woot!

PS  I’ve been following a blog lately called One Wild and Precious Life.  The writer lives in NOLA, and blogs about everyday life there.  For the past couple weeks she has written about the days leading up to Mardi Gras.  It’s really pretty interesting.  Especially if you’ve never been to Mardi Gras!  Check it out fo sho!

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