Thursday, February 24, 2011

Bread and Butter

My great grandmother emigrated to Canada from Iceland over 100 years ago. She came with her husband and five children on a boat and settled near Gimli, Manitoba.

I often think of how life would have been different for her then than it is for me now. Those thoughts usually lead me to the kitchen and back to the basics. She would be amazed at how things have changed. And then I think she might be disheartened to see how we have let our knowledge of the basics die off in the name of convenience and saving time. Basics like how to make butter.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Company's Coming!

We stayed home all weekend (it was snowy outside) and lazed around, not doing much of anything. It was 10:04 am on Monday and I realized that friends of ours were coming for dinner. I had not cleaned and there was no plan for dinner. There was a whole turkey in the freezer... if I turn on the oven right now...

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Hand Made

I learned to crochet (say "crow-shay") when I was a teen, but knitting always seemed more complicated. This last Christmas, I decided it was time to learn. The patterns and stitches for knitting always looked more beautiful to me than crocheting and I wanted to create them.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Home Made Pasta

A little while ago, I popped some chopped beef into the freezer with some garlic, olive oil, and some Italian herbs. I forget what exactly I put in with the meat, but to find out, check here. Now the time has come to cook the beef!

I sautéed the beef with the herbs, added some chopped onion, and dressed it at the end with some halved cherry tomatoes. Now for the noodles...

Friday, February 18, 2011

Actually, I Like Oatmeal!

Steel Cut Oats

As a little girl, I was unable to eat oatmeal or any whole grain hot breakfast like it. There was something about the slimey, lumpy texture that I physically could not swallow.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Easy Dinner: Serve Over Rice

Last night, I needed an easy solution for dinner; something quick, simple, that my children and husband would all love, and that would also be good for school lunches today. Here was the solution:

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


Every Wednesday morning, I get an email from musician and mentor, Christine Kane. 

Christine Kane is the Mentor to Women Who are Changing the World. She helps women uplevel their lives, their businesses and their success. Her weekly LiveCreative eZine goes out to over 12,000 subscribers. If you are ready to take your life and your world to the next level, you can sign up for a F.R.E.E. subscription at

There are some fantastic truths in this particular article and I am jumping into the rest of today with an achievable goal in mind: de-clutter one area or room.

Monday, February 14, 2011

I have a problem...

Well, probably more than just one, but this one is serious.

I love cookbooks.

Now, it may not seem like that big of a deal, but it feels like it! My husband built only one upper cabinet in the entire kitchen and it is for cookbooks. Unfortunately, it's getting full!!

We usually get at least one cookbook at Christmas time and there are certain chefs and authors whose cookbooks we collect.

A little while ago, a friend asked what I was reading. I listed off two or three titles and she said, "No, I meant novels or self-betterment type of books... those are all cookbooks!" We read cookbooks like other people read 'regular' books. The number of odd looks my husband gets during his morning commute on the train when he's sitting there, reading a large cookbook like it's a novel, are uncountable.

As for this moment, I think it is time to review all the cookbooks and put a few away in the "library" downstairs.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Farm Fresh Eggs



"Hi Jess, it's me. I have two dozen eggs in my truck for you. Are you going to be home in 5 minutes?"

"Yep, I'm here now, come on over!!"

I am so SO excited!! We will finally be eating fresh farm eggs each week instead of buying eggs from the store.

My friend's two little boys go out and collect the eggs and then get to earn some of the money from the egg sales. What a great way to teach the connection between effort and earning.

Knowing where these eggs come from, that the hens that lay them are happy and well cared for, fed good food, and not forced into eating anti-biotics every day, makes a big difference to me.

I'm not sure what I will make for dinner on this lazy Friday night, but I am fairly certain it will involve these eggs. Likely, I'll try a new bread recipe and simply fry or poach the eggs on the side... vegetables will make an appearance, I'm sure, but these golden beauties will be the star.

This will be amazing.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

An Artist's Blog

My sister-in-law is an incredibly talented artist and has started an artist's blog. She will tell you that she's new to painting and art, but her pieces say otherwise.

Regardless of the media she uses (charcoal, pastels, acrylic paint, and other creative media), she is able to capture the essence of a person or moment very well. She will be one to watch as she paints her way into the future.

If you have been looking for a portrait artist, you just found her, Kim Peters.

In my family there are quite a few artists and I will tell you more about each of them in the weeks to come. Today is Kim's day.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Winter Soup

Tuesdays and Thursdays I am always running. After I pick the boys up from school, we have a small amount of time at home before we need to jump into the car and run to the city for a class. By the time we get back, it's 7:00 and bedtime is looming. If dinner is not ready when we get home, the boys are up way too late.

Yesterday, my solution was soup. While the boys are at school, I had time to pull it all together and pop it into the crock pot or a ceramic pot in the oven, covered, on low and it was waiting for us when we got home. It was orange, happy, warm, and totally satisfying.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Today it's cold outside; around -25ºC (-13ºF) with the wind chill. It's no wonder that, with a coffee in hand, I am looking through the photos of our summer vacation last year.

I am drawn to the fun and funny moments we shared, laughing about silly, inconsequential things... Those moments that just *happen* and stick with you.

the typical morning coffee outside the condo

Friday, February 4, 2011

Comfort Food

The other night on our way home, I asked the boys what they would rather have for dinner: 1) leftover turkey, mashed potatoes, peas, gravy, and salad... OR 2) soup with coconut milk, peanut, curry, and rice noodles. My 7-year-old asked for the soup and my 5-year-old asked for the curry noodles.

Amazing how comfort food for me when I was little would have been option 1, but now I find the more comforting food to be option 2, as do the boys.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Simple & Classy

When I make dinner, my goal is usually to make one thing that is special and make everything else simple. This makes the meal feel classier and takes little effort.

A few weeks ago, dear friends of ours came to visit with their four children. We then had six children in the house, ages 8, 7, 6, 5, 5, & 5 as well as four adults.

What do you feed to an active bunch like this?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Roasting Vegetables

There is something about this time of year that sends me in search of winter vegetables for roasting. Carrots, yams, parsnips, beets, and various squash all find themselves sliced, tossed in a light oil, salted & peppered, and laying patiently on my roasting pan, awaiting the scorching heat of the broiler.