Monthly Archives: April 2014

Wicked Wednesday… Special Edition

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Today’s musical focus is on Billy Pettinger aka Billy The Kid. I had the pleasure of seeing her open for Raine Maida on his solo tour back in 2008. She was great! My brother and sister-in-law got to know her and they invited us to see her again, this time in 2010. She has been very busy and and is going on tour with Chuck Ragan. Check her out if you get a chance. This is us in 2010, with my parents and my little bambino who was ready to enter this world at any moment!

BTKid & Family

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YUM YUM!

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YUM YUM!

Amish Broccoli Salad

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I make broccoli salad all the time for family get-together’s and it’s delicious. We all love it. When I came across this salad, I had to try it. I figured it had to be great as it is almost the same. It did not disappoint and it had the extra added veggie (the cauliflower) so it went a little further at meal time. The family said it was great and the only suggestion I received was to add more bacon! (from my brother). I had to use a little less than called for in the recipe because I ran out. So, I am sure if I had added what it said – I would have heard no complaints. I’m going to be switching this up with the broccoli one now and again! Yum!

Amish Broccoli Salad

1    head    broccoli ( chopped ) 
1    head    cauliflower ( chopped ) 
1    cup    mayonnaise 
1    cup    sour cream 
1    cup    shredded cheddar cheese 
1/2    cup    sugar 
1/2    teaspoon    salt 
1/2    pound    bacon ( fried, crumbled ) 

 

Directions

  1. Combine the chopped broccoli and cauliflower in a large bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine the mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, and salt to make a creamy dressing.
  3. Add the dressing to the broccoli–cauliflower mix, stirring to evenly coat the vegetables.
  4. Stir in the bacon and the cheese, reserving a small amount to sprinkle on top of the salad just before serving.

 

Yields:12 servings

 

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Source: http://myrecipemagic.com/recipe/recipedetail/amish-broccoli-salad

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YUM YUM!

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YUM YUM!

Kitchen Sink Cookies

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So, I came up with my own recipe in hopes of “getting rid” of some of the Easter candy we got. I have 2 small girls and they really don’t need it. And quite frankly, neither do my hubby and I. I decided to make some cookies and threw whatever I had in the bowl into these cookies. I ended up getting these “Kitchen Sink Cookies”! They have all kinds of stuff and I managed to sneak in some relatively “healthier items” as well. The Easter bunny did an egg hunt at our house and we had plastic eggs with raisins, craisins, smarties, mini eggs etc.  So, I mixed them all together and used them in our cookies. They turned out quite good, were very moist and they used up alot of our Easter goodies. I even managed to get rid of some cookies at my brother’s birthday so I don’t have to eat all of them myself!  I think I will be doing this at Halloween and Christmas as well.

Kitchen Sink Cookies

1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
½ cup oatmeal
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
1 Tbsp. ground flaxseed
¾ cup butter, softened
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
¼ cup coconut

2 cups mix- craisins, raisins, sunflower seeds,  mini eggs, smarties, broken up chocolate eggs
(add any candies/chocolates you have lying around and want to use up)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  1. Combine flour, oatmeal, brown sugar, salt, baking soda, ground flaxseed, coconut and butter. Mix well.
  1. Add eggs and vanilla. Mix.
  1. Add the coconut and 2 cups of mix (your choice). Mix until blended.
  1. Spoon out onto parchment lined baking sheet. I used a cookie scoop. Lightly flatten tops with fork (they will not spread very much).
  1. Bake for approximately 8-10 minutes. Cool on rack and enjoy!

 

Notes

  • it is a good way to use up leftover Easter, Halloween, Christmas candies/chocolates with a little twist of healthy!

 

Yields: 2 ½ – 3 dozen (depending on size)

 

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Source: Chasing Dreams & Flingin’ Beans

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Menu Plan Monday

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APRIL 28-MAY 4th

Enjoy the week! Trying out some new recipes once again! Which one’s will make it into my binder? Hmmmm….

Monday- White Pizza Grilled Cheese (carried over) / Salad

Tuesday- Meatball Stew/Crusty Bread

Wednesday- Leftovers

Thursday- Ground Turkey Gyros/ Tzatziki / Pita Breads

Friday- Fish Sticks / Tater Skins / Veggie Stix

Saturday- Chicken Fingers / Fries / Corn

Sunday- Scalloped Potatoes / Ham / Carrots

Yum Yum!

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YUM YUM!

Crockpot Beef N’ Broccoli

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This was absolutely delicious! It was a huge hit with my family and I will definitely be making it again. It’s so easy and versatile to make. I didn’t really change a thing with the recipe. I may try adding some red peppers in it next time. Yum!

 

 

 

Crockpot Beef N' Broccoli

 

1 lb. boneless, beef chuck roast, sliced into thin strips

1 cup beef consumme or beef broth

½ cup low sodium soy sauce

⅓ cup dark brown sugar

1 tbsp. sesame oil

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp. cornstarch

4 tbsp. sauce (from the crockpot after dish is cooked)

Frozen broccoli florets (about 2 cups)

White rice, cooked

Directions:

 

  1. In the crockpot, whisk beef broth, soy sauce, brown sugar, sesame oil, and garlic together.
  2. Place beef in the mixture and toss to coat.
  3. Cook on low for about 6 hours.
  4. When done, in a bowl, whisk together cornstarch and cooking liquid to create a slurry, pour into crockpot. Stir. Cook on low for an additional 30 minutes to thicken up the sauce.
  5. Toss in broccoli then serve over hot white rice.

 

Notes:

  • Note about cooking time: Your crockpot may differ in temperature than mine, I suggest cooking this for 4 hours on your first go-round of this dish. 6 hours in the crockpot seems to be giving a lot of people “shredded” beef instead of slices, so decrease cooking time by 2 hours and go from there. Mine turned out fine with 6 hours.
  • If you are using frozen broccoli florets, you do NOT need to defrost them prior to putting them in the crockpot. You add them in at the same time as you add the cornstarch slurry. As stated in the instructions, after you add the cornstarch slurry, you cook for 30 more minutes. This should be more than enough time to cook and defrost your broccoli florets.
  • If you’re using fresh broccoli, you do NOT need to steam them prior to putting them in the crockpot. You add them in at the same time as you add the cornstarch slurry. Since you cook an additional 30 minutes, this will ensure that your fresh broccoli will be cooked through.
  • Yes, you put the meat in the slow cooker raw, in sliced pieces.

 

Yields: 4 servings

 

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Source: http://www.tablefortwoblog.com/take-out-fake-out-beef-broccoli-crockpot/

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YUM YUM!

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YUM YUM!

Potato Soup

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This soup was delicious!  I didn’t really change anything other than the pepper. I only added 1/2 tsp. because I am not a huge fan of pepper. I will definitely be making it again but making sure I have company for dinner. It makes a pretty large pot. Give it a try… you won’t be disappointed.

Potato Soup

2 1/2 pounds baby red potatoes, sliced into small bite sized pieces

1 pkg. uncooked bacon, finely diced

1 medium onion, diced

1/4 bunch celery, diced

8 cups milk

4 cups chicken stock or broth

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

1 cup salted butter

1 cup flour

1/2 bunch freshly chopped parsley

1 cup whipping cream

***For garnish***

shredded cheese

fried bacon bits

chopped green onions

 

Directions:

  1. In a nonstick 12-quart stockpot, boil potatoes in water 10 minutes. Drain and set the potatoes aside until the end.
  2.  In sauté pan, cook bacon until crisp.  Drain bacon fat and place on paper towel over plate to drain more.
  3. Add onion and celery to bacon pan over medium-high heat until celery is tender, about 5 minutes.
  4. To the large pan that you boiled the potatoes in, add milk, broth, salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until mixture is very hot, about 8 minutes, stirring often. Do not let mixture boil.
  5. In small, heavy sauce pan melt butter. Add flour and mix well. Cook over medium-low heat until mixture bubbles, stirring 2 to 3 minutes to make a roux.
  6. While constantly stirring soup, add roux slowly until soup is thick and creamy, about 4 minutes. Let simmer for about 30 minutes or until flavors are incorporated.
  7. Stir in parsley, reserved potatoes, bacon (reserve some for garnish if desired), celery, onions and cream.
  8. Garnish with cheese, bacon bits, green onions or all three. Serve hot.

 

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Source: http://www.tipsfromatypicalmomblog.com/2010/01/potato-soup-recipe-machine-shed.html

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“FUN” Friday

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BUCKET LIST – No. 8

I have always wanted to go on an African Safari. I made it a goal for my 30th birthday to get there and it didn’t happen. Boo! Although, it seems a bit harder to go at this point in my life I have hopes that someday I will make it there. I want to see all those amazing animals roaming freely in their habitat.

safari

Photo Source: Unknown

Speaking of amazing animals… and in honour of World Penguin Day (which is today)…

I had the opportunity to see some when I visited New Zealand in 2006. We took a tour to the Otago Peninsula and got to see yellow eyed penguins, sea lions, seals, sheep and albatross all in the same day. You could get so close to the sea lions. They are beautiful, massive creatures and a bit scary at times when they open their mouth!

wildlife NZ collage

I could have watched the penguins all day. They were roaming around the field with the sheep and down to the beach. There was a particular couple I had my eyes on though. They were expecting and the male was constantly carrying things up to the nest to make it more comfortable for his little lady. He would not leave her side. It was amazing to watch. Here are some of my pictures. If you get the chance to go, we went with Elm Wildlife Tours.

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Throwback Thursday

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This Throwback Thursday is dedicated to my big brother Rob. His birthday is on Tuesday so I wanted to do a big shout out to him. I found this poem by Olivia AR and thought it was perfect for this occasion. Happy Birthday Rob- Love You xoxo

 

“From Little Sister to Big Brother”

A brother is the first real friend a sister gets to know,
And when we bicker, kick and fight, our affections really show.

It’s strange to think back on our lives and realize how much we’ve changed,
From bitter sweet encounters, to a love we have rearranged.

To fit our sibling rivalries, from little sister to big brother,
I write these words in hopes you know that I’d never trade you for another.

A sister’s love does run more than just skin deep,
She worries for her oldest friend and has faith that he’d like to keep,

These words of truth and caring for the brother she loves so dear,
Which might bring a welcome smile, and a possible happy tear.

So keep in mind the nice times and those times when we were bad,
That even though we fought or loved, they were the best times we’ve ever had.

rob b-day

 

Wicked Wednesday… Special Edition

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It’s funny… when we are younger we just think about what’s going on for the next night or the weekend. There is no worries. We go to work, go out after work with friends and repeat. We have friends that we may see once in awhile or hang with one’s we have had for a long time.

I come from a small town. We were always going to the city “next door” to go out. The city was not a big one but it had enough bars for us to go back and forth to. You would always run into someone you knew and would never have to worry about losing your friends as there was always someone else to hang out with until you found them again. When you go out that much, it’s almost like you are friends with everyone because you see the same people every single weekend. Of course, we don’t know them all personally but you know them enough to give them a nod in passing or a quick hello.

We don’t tend to think too far into the future when it come’s to how everyone’s life is going to turn out. What kind of job will they end up in? Where will they live? Will you stay in touch?

Now that I am older and we have so many social media outlets, it’s definitely easier to get in touch or stay in touch with those we used to know. The next person (Greg) is one of those people from my past. We went to school together. He was a little younger than I. His sister was one grade ahead of me. We didn’t hang out in the school years but we would often meet up in the bar crowds.

Greg has went on to pursue a music career. He is a singer/songwriter and is pretty amazing. I feel so happy for people like him because being any kind of artist is a hard deal. They inspire me with their dedication and drive to do what they love. It’s not an easy way to live. I’m sure between studio, touring, promoting etc.  it get’s pretty gruesome at times. I can’t imagine. I would never be able to do that kind of thing (I’m too shy), so I have even more respect for those that can get out there and pour their heart and soul out in front so many people.

My musical inspiration for today is Greg Ball. I haven’t had the opportunity to see him perform live yet but he has been with me on roadtrips and while doing my housecleaning… hee hee. I missed out seeing him last year but the next time he comes to town, I will be there. It would be nice to reunite- it’s been a very long time. Please check him out and support his music. You will love it!

This picture was taken a long time ago… good times (he’s on the left!)!

greg ball

Menu Plan Monday

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APRIL 21-27th

I hope everyone had a terrific Easter weekend. We had alot of fun. The weekend was filled with 3 egg hunts, bubble blowing, family turkey dinner and too much chocolate! Just the way I like 😉  All my “new” recipes from last week were delicious! I will definitely be making them all again. This week I am trying some yummy one’s as well. Stay tuned…

Monday- Greek Salad / Chicken Red Roasted Pepper Skewers

Tuesday- Quiche / Veggie Stix

Wednesday- Lasagna Soup / Crusty Bread

Thursday- Leftovers

Friday- Ranch Chicken / Skillet Potatoes / Green  Beans

Saturday- Slow Cooker Pork Chops and Potatoes in Dijon Paprika Sauce / Broccoli

Sunday- White Pizza Grilled Cheese / Salad

Happy Monday!