Monday, November 29, 2010

New Food... from a while ago!

I finally found the cookbook I used back in Sept/Oct. I wanted to share the 2 that I did from there. I have posted them but as always, they post back on the days I got the posts ready... so here you will find:

New Food #49 - Dijon Steak and Potato Stew

New Food #50 - Sweet and Sour Noodles'n Chicken

On Tuesday/Wednesday I will post my next 2 new ones and we can see how many new foods my family can try this year. I can't believe we are up to #65 already! My goal was to make 40 to 50 new ones and I'm past that!! It's great! hopefully next year I can do something just as yummy!

I also have some cookies to share with you. We are delivering our cookies to our teachers at schools this week and I'm hoping to post the finished products soon!

Have a great and yummy day!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

New Foods #61-65 ~ Young Adults Hangout Thanksgiving Dinner!

On Monday we had our Young Adults Hangout Thanksgiving Dinner! It was wonderful! I loved seeing some faces we haven't in a while and seeing some newer faces to our group. And the food was SOOO good, if I do say so myself! I love making meals for people. It's such a gift, I feel, that God has given me so I use it!

On Monday we had: Lemon Herb Grilled (not ours) Turkey, stuffing, gravy, Company Broccoli Three-Cheese Bake, Green Beaks with Glazed Shallots in Lemon-Dill Butter, Do-Ahead Garlic Mashed Potatoes, Williams Buns, and "Jack Salad" for our main meal. For Drinks we had Slow Cooker Spiced Cranberry-Apple Cider (we had at the Halloween meal), and eggnog and regular room-temp Apple Cider. Dessert included: Brown Sugar-Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Whipped Cream, and apple blossoms.

The Spread:


I'll be honest! I was bad photographer and forgot to take photos of every dish like I have before.. silly me. So hopefully you can work with me!

And here are the ways to make them:


#61 - Lemon-Herb Grilled Turkey
Prep Time - 15 minutes
Start to Finish 4 hours
Servings: 12

10 to 12 pound Turkey, thawed if frozen
Salt and Pepper, if desired
1 large onion, cut into 8ths
2 small lemons, cut into fourths
Vegetable oil
2 Tablespoons of butter or margarine, softened
1/2 teaspoon ground thyme

1 - if using charcoal grill, place drip pan directly under grilling area, and arrange coals around edge of firebox. heat coals or gas grill for indirect heat.

2 - Rub cavity of turkey with salt and pepper; place onion and lemons in cavity. Brush oil over turkey. Insert barbecue meat thermometer so tip is in the thickest part of the inside thigh muscle and does not touch bone.

3 - Mix Butter and thyme brush over turkey. Cover and grill turkey, breast side up, over drip man or over unheated side of the gas grill and 5 to 6 inches from medium heat for 2 hours and 30 minutes to 3 hours and 30 minutes or until thermometer reads 165F and juice is no longer pink when center of thigh is cut. If using charcoal grill, add about 15 briquettes every hour. Let turkey stand for 15 minutes. Remove onions and lemons before carving.

Now again.. we have one of 'those' cases where I can't read.. or if I can I can't get my act together to process it. It does say GRILLED in the title but yeah.. we didn't! I could have but we ran out of propane last week and Arnold didn't want it filled again for the winter... so yea. I did it just as it said and placed in a foil lined 9 by 13 cake pan. It worked perfectly in our oven and was done in about 2 hours or so. I kept it in longer but WOW soooo yummy!


Next in the "spread" photo is the beans so here we go:

#62 - Green Beans with Glazed Shallots in Lemon-Dill Butter
Prep Time - 15 minutes
Start to Finish 15 minutes
Servings: 6 (about .5 cups each)

1pound of fresh green beans, trimmed
2 tablespoons of butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon of sugar
1 teaspoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of chopped fresh dill weed
1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 - in a 4 Quart Dutch oven, heat 1 to 2 inches of water to boiling. Add beans; boil uncovered for 8 to 10 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain; return to Dutch oven.

2 - Meanwhile, in a 10 inch skillet, melt butter over medium heat. add shallots; cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crisp-tender. Stir in sugar. Cook 2 to 3 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until shallots are glazed and brown. Stir in lemon juice, dill weed and salt.

3 - Add Shallot mixture to green beans; toss and coat.

I didn't have fresh green beans but I had a mixed bag of green and yellow beans and carrots so I used those! And I didn't have fresh dill weed but I had ground so I used a few shakes of that. It was still VERY yummy. The book says if you don't have Shallots you could use 1/4 cup of onions if you want. But they add a very nice flavour to it.

In the white Dish with the lid on is this yummy side dish:

#63 - Company Broccoli Three-Cheese Bake
Prep time - 10 minutes
Start to Finish - 1 hour
Servings 14 (1/2 cup each)

1 can (2.8 oz) French Fried onions
2 bags (24 oz each) Green Giant Frozen Broccoli and Three Cheese Sauce
1 package (3oz) cream cheese cut into cubes
1/4 cup of chopped red bell pepper, if desired
1/2 teaspoon red pepper sauce

1 - Heat oven to 350F. Reserve 1 cup of French-fried onions for topping.

2 - In 5 Quart Dutch oven, mix remaining onions, the broccoli, cream cheese, bell pepper and red pepper sauce. Cover; cook over medium-low heat about 20 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking, until chips are melted. Transfer to ungreased 2 to 3 quart casserole.

3 - Bake uncovered for 20 to 25 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Sprinkle reserved onions around the outer edge of casserole. Bake another 5 minutes.

This one was so yummy. Now I totally cheated on this one. I don't like french-fried onions so none of those or red bell peppers or pepper sauce. Instead we used broccoli (frozen not the 3 cheese one) mixed with cheese wiz, cream cheese and shredded cheese. With more of the shredded cheese on top. SOOO good. Next time I would steam the broccoli more instead of boiling it.

The next large dish you see in the photo is this super easy mashed potatoes:

#64 - Do-Ahead Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Prep time - 35 minutes
Start to Finish - 1 hour and 45 minutes
Servings 8

3lbs of red or white potatoes (about 9 mediums) peeled and cut into pieces
6cloves of garlic, peeled
3/4 cup of milk
1/2 cup of whipping cream
1/2 cup of butter or margarine
1 teaspoon of salt
Dash of pepper

1 - In a 3-Quart saucepan, place potatoes and garlic add enough water to cover. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until potatoes are tender. Drain and return to sauce pan.

2 - Heat potatoes over low heat about 1 minute, shaking pan often to keep potatoes from sticking and burning to dry potatoes. Mash potatoes and garlic in pan with potato masher until no lumps remain.

3 - In a 1 quart saucepan, heat milk, whipping cream, butter, sat and pepper over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until butter is melted; reserve and refrigerate 1/4 cup mixture. Add remaining milk mixture to small amounts to potatoes, mashing after each addition until potatoes are light and fluffy. Spray 2 quart casserole with cooking spray. Spoon potatoes into casserole, cover and regenerate up to 24 hours.

4 - Heat oven to 350F. Uncover casserole; pour reserved milk mixture over potatoes. Bake 40 to 45 minutes ore until hot. Stir potatoes before serving.


This last one was my first pumpkin pie. I LOVED it!! Too bad I didn't get a better photo but it's the last thing on the table. We served it with apple blossoms from Chudleigh's farm from this summer and candy cane ice cream with chocolate pieces in it... again a wonderful part of a meal. Without further adieu:

#65 - Brown Sugar-Pumpkin Pie with Caramel Whipped Cream

Prep time 25 minutes
Start to finish 5 hours and 55 minutes
Servings - 8

Pastry - 1 box of Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box

3 eggs
3/4 cup of packed dark brown sugar
3/4 cup of whipping cream
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon of ground allspice
1 can (15oz) pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling)

1/2 cup of whipping cream whipped
1/4 cup of caramel topping

1 - Heat oven to 425F. Prepare Pie crust as directed on box for one-crust filled pie.

2 - In large bowl, beat eggs slightly with wire whisk or hand beater. Beat in remaining filling ingredients until smooth.

3 - Cover edge of pie crust with 2 to 3 inch strips of foil to prevent excessive browning; remove foil for last 15 minutes of baking. To prevent spilling filling place pastry lined pie plate on oven rack. Pour filling into pie plate. Bake pie 15 minutes.

4 - Reduce oven temp to 350F. Bake for 45 minutes longer or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Cool on cooling rack for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours. Serve pie topped with whipping cream and drizzled with caramel topping.

This was SO good. Oh yeah.. PLEASE add pie plate to my wish list!! I made it with an 8 inch cake pan and it worked ok.. some parts fell in but it was good overall.

New Food #60 ~ Pizza Pasta Casserole

Again another great one from the Fall Freezer Meals. SOOO good and the kids even loved this one!


Pizza Pasta Casserole

2 pounds of ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
2 jars (28oz each) spaghetti sauce
1 package (16oz) spiral pasta, cooked and drained
4 cups (16oz) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
8 ounces of sliced pepperoni.

(BTW this is GREAT for leftovers of the pepperoni you bought for your 'make at home pizza's ')

1 - In a large skillet, cook beef and onion over medium heat until the meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in spaghetti sauce and pasta

2 - Transfer to 2 greased 13inch by 9 inch baking dishes. Sprinkle with cheese. Arrange pepperoni over the top. Cover and freeze one casserole for up to 3 months.

3 - Bake the second casserole, uncovered, at 350F for 25-30 minutes or until heated through.

TO USE FROZEN CASSEROLE: Thaw in the refrigerator overnight. bake at 350F for 35 to 40 minutes or until heated through.

It's so yummy! Seriously and SOOO easy!


New Food #59 - Hamburger Noodle Bake

We made this at the beginning of the month. It's called Hamburger Noodle Bake. It's SOOO good.

It's from the Fall Freezer Meals book I have so everything "says" it makes 2 casseroles but yeah...


Hamburger Noodle Bake

5 cups of uncooked egg noodles
2 pounds of ground beef
1 cup of chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped green peppers
2 cans (10.75oz each) condensed tomato soup, undiluted
2 cups (8oz each) shredded cheddar cheese
1.5 cup of water
1/2 cup of chili sauce
1.5 cups of soft bread crumbs
3 tablespoons of butter, melted

1 - Cook Noodles according to package directions until almost tender; drain. In a large skillet, cook the beef, onion and green pepper over medium-high heat for 10 to 12 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink; drain. Stir in the noodles, soup, cheese, water and chili sauce. Transfer to 2 greased 8-inch square baking dishes.

2 - Toss bread crumbs and butter; sprinkle over casseroles. Bake one casserole uncovered at 350F for 35 to 40 minutes, or until bubbly and golden brown. Cover and freeze the remaining casserole for up to 3 months.

TO USE FORZEN CASSEROLE: Remove from the freezer 30 minutes before baking (do not thaw). Cover and bake at 350F for 60 minutes. Uncover; bake 10 to 15 minutes longer or until heated through.

We changed it by not using 2 pounds of ground beef, no green pepper, and we didn't have bread crumbs so I used rice krispies! It was good anyway!


Our First Snow!

We have had a few 'flakes' these past few weeks but really this was our first snowfall that we could do something with. It all started this morning! I loved it!

The boys headed out to Men's Breakfast at church and I got to baking, only to find out... no butter! So I walked to the grocery store. Before heading out this started:



When I got home, about the same time the boys did, they started my favourite thing of the season. Random snowmen! Here are my window ledge snowmen:


After getting some photos of my boys working hard:



And some of them not working at all... having a snowball fight:




I got some 'extra' things together in the house and found some noses and eyes/buttons for the snowmen! They are so sweet looking!

This is "Oatmeal"

The little one:


Here's the finished product:











Snow Pants Day!

Yesterday we started back to our normal schedual after everyone being so sick!

Arnold went back to work, be it on transit, and left a bit later in the morning.

Kyler decided at last minute (after finding out it was pizza day) that he wanted to go to school. We managed to get dressed and out the door in about 5 to 10 minutes. This includes getting dressed once, stepping outside to realize it was freezing and going back inside to get snow pants on.

Yep we wore our snow pants for the first time on Friday!

How cute are these boys:






Even all bundled up in their snow pants!

We took a walk late Friday night to count the Christmas lights. We are now at 13 houses that had lights on!! We are getting more and more excited the more lights we see!! These boys love this game. AND it burns some energy!

Playing Catch-up!

Well It's that time again. After our family gets sick or something happens I seem to play catch-up. So be prepared for some major posting for the next few days. Hopefully I can get my Nov photos up before December is here! Can you believe it? December is almost here?!?!

Ok first Catch-up!

We have a little boy come to our house sometimes for Day-care. We have a lot of fun with him. The boys LOVE it when T comes to visit.

The other day T was here and was playing around and Arnold got some cute photos of his adventures:






What a sweety!! I always like having the boys dishes cleaned out every few weeks (no joke!) So this was perfect timing!

These are from just last weekend. Arnold and I went to the Teacher conference at school, then to the Samko-Miko Sale. It was wonderful to get out for a bit and Rachel watched the boys for us. She snapped a few photos. It was a big surprise to find some cute photos of our boys on the camera while at Bedlam (a Jr High event during the weekend in Muskoka). I loved it!





Rachel is even getting great with her camera skills! Check out the artistic photos!






She is going to be taking better photos than anyone soon enough!

Off to get your next few photos ready!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Wish Lists

As this "time of year" comes around people begin asking for wish lists. We don't have big ones in our house, but we do have some.

I'll start with the boys:

Quinton's Wish List:

A Santa Costume (seriously!)
Puppets **
Tools **
A tool belt
K*nex **
A Robot that moves on it's own

Kyler's Wish List:

A remote control Airplane
Skiing lessons and Ski's (sp)
K*nex **
Puppets and theater **
A Robot that moves it's arms

Arnold's Wish List:

A Gyroscope
Metric Wrenches - 9*, 11*, 16 and 17 mm
Side Cutters
Small Vice to clamp to table
Park Chain Checker Stretch Gauge CC-2C
Park Tool Crank Puller - CCP-22
Park Tool Professional Cable & Housing Cutter - CN-10C
The Bicycling Guide to Complete Bicycle Maintenance & Repair: For Road & Mountain Bikes
Lezyne Micro Floor Drive High Pressure Pump
Park Tool CM-5 Cyclone Chain Cleaner
Park Tool PFP-4 Professional Mechanic Floor Pump

(As you can See this year Arnold actually got a list!! It's surprising... and if you chose to buy something off his list PLEASE buy JUST what is above. These will go with his new bike and he is more picky than a girl getting her prom dress!)

Miranda's Wish List:

Canning Funnel
Silicone cooking things (spoons, spatulas, ect)
Baking sheets
Fabricland Gift Card
New Computer
Canning for Dummies
"Fun" ankle socks (for my boots since my running ones fall off my feet in my boots!)
Chlorine body/hair wash
Christmas Dishes
Gravy Ladle and Gravy boat
New set of flannel sheets for our bed
A new ring that fits me
Diamond earrings (I'm borrowing my moms right now)
New pj pants and shirt
Sewing lessons and a babysitter to watch the kids while I go.

Now Thankfully my kids can't really read yet. So things that have ** are ones they are getting for sure (Santa shopped early this year) but can and would love more of. And things that have 1 * are the ones Arnold ~REALLY~ wants.

For me... I'm good with anything! It took me a while to come up with the list I've got!

Oh yes, there are some things I wish they would have Like another flat board for the duplo (when friends come over it's upsetting to the one who doesn't get one), and a GOOD belt (leather) for the boys.

But Mom, It's Pizza Day!

Today is pizza Day at school. the first one this year. And once I realized it (around 8:35am) I asked K if he wanted to go. No pressure as he and I believed it was going to be a nice stay at home day. But nope as soon as pizza was talked about he was booking it to his bedroom to get dressed and ready to go for the day! What a silly boy!

We made it to the school just in time (including being dressed, opening the door and realizing it was FREEZING and going back in and getting our snowpants on). He went into school telling me his legs hurt but that he was ok. Too much activity running to school!

So Q and I are home today. I've cleaned and disinfected all the light switches, main touching halls and knobs on the doors. I've got the entire front hall done and the living room. I just need to get the laundry to keep up. We had a few things that were yucky smelling in the laundry that needed a few extra times in the washing machine and now we are getting there. It's been gross out! At least things are getting a bit better.

I have to finish up the kitchen, clean the bathroom and wash the sheets from our bed and we should be "clean" again!

Oh and good news of today? It's SNOWING!!!! Not enough to do anything but the flakes are falling!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"Make-Your-Own Bumper Stickers"

Have you ever had one of those days when you wish you could make your own bumper stickers and put them on other people's cars? You know like a public service announcement for others?

On Monday I was driving back from the mechanic's and I just had the biggest urge to start a company that allows you to make a bumper sticker for the car ahead of you and mail it to the owner of the car/plate.

For an example:

1 - I had a car that wouldn't signal. No matter what. I almost got hit by him moving into my lane and then he almost got ran into by another car moving over again. A few options for this car-holder would be:

Sorry, I forgot to turn on my EPS


Just because I don't use my signal light doesn't mean you shouldn't know where I'm going

2 - While driving down the last stretch of the road around my house this one car when whipping around me and pulled into a parking spot. All I could think of was when I was little what my parents would say:

I had to pee, forgive me?


You would do it too if you had to poo!

3 - And my final example has to be the car that drove generally on the line the whole way down St. Clair. It was so annoying. My thoughts were:

I left my wings at home but generally I follow the lines and take off!


I can't decide, left? or right? left? or right?

I swear it's annoying!

While thinking about this post I did some searching on the World-Wide-Web about bumper stickers. My favourite 'actual' bumper stickers are:

Less Bombs; more Scrapbooking

I can handle any crisis. I have Children!

My other car has 2 wheels

honk, if you love Jesus. Text and drive if you want to meet Him

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Today after my swim I went to Tim Horton's. I was waiting in the drive through line a bit longer than I expected and was watching this couple. They were studying something. She had her coffee and he had his, along with a container of timbits. They were studying something that had to do with music (trust me, I'm *that* good ~ and I saw the sheet music when I got up to the window). He would randomly tap things out on the table, she would repeat and then give that "oh I've got it!" look.

It took me back to my university days. I remember sitting with Teresa at Boston Pizza in the middle of the afternoon to just get away from school and have a different setting. We would order an app and something from the dessert menu and study, do notes, read our text books. If we were "good" our the server loved us, we would get free refills and some cookies (which always lasted forever since they were so frozen!).

I can't help but think about those times. Studying so hard just to pass a test. Working my bum off to try and get things done for exams, tests, or midterms.

Just one of those random memories.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Strawberry Shortcake, Lemonade tarts....

Do you remember that song? I remember jumping rope at school and singing this song. For those who don't remember it went something like this:

Strawberry Shortcake
Lemonade Tarts
Tell me the initials
of your sweetheart
It's an : A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z.

Then you jump out on the letter of the person you like.

That's all I can think about when my 2 boys catch the glances from the girls across the road. Our neighbour has 2 girls, a 3 year old and an almost 5 year old.

Last night while we were in the car waiting for Daddy to come out from his Chrio appointment we were talking about something and all the sudden our conversation turned to the boys wives. Kyler informed me his wife was going to be the girl across the road. Since there are 2 girls across the road I asked which one. The one who swims with us (the 3 year old) or the older one (the almost 5 year old). Kyler said he is marrying the one who swims with them. Quinton piped up and let us know that he was marrying the older one.

I took this time to remind the boys that they have LOTS AND LOTS of time before they will get married. It's not that I don't like these girls (I do! They are SO cute!), but they seem to change their minds almost daily on who they want to marry.

They also told me that they wanted more kids in the car. I'm pretty sure this is how the conversation started. Kyler said there were 2 more seats in the car and we should fill them up with another little boy and a little girl.

Anyway... that's my random post for the day. I love these boys.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Menu Planning

Do you know my least favourite/most favourite part of the month? It has to be menu planning. Personally I used to love it so much! It was my favourite thing on earth! I had so much fun and enjoyed it sooo much... now.... not that much.

I'll give you an example:

Last night it was time to sit down and plan meals. First thing I did was grab my calendar. I LOVE this one. It's by MTM. It's called the More Time Moms Family Organizer 2011.


I love the fact that it has HUGE boxes. As you can see we fill ours up completely!

Then I write in thing I need to remember of big events coming up. For those of you coming to the young Adults hangout you can get a sneak peak for what we are having for supper:


We also go through the past 2 weeks and see what we didn't use and mark it off

Now comes the fun part. Going through all my cookbooks (and I have ALOT) and picking out what I want to try this week. And somehow I get in the meals from the last 15 days we didn't use, which cuts down on groceries!


I love going through my cookbooks and finding things we haven't tried, and things we have tried. It's great! One of these days I'm going to make my own cookbook with all the ones we have tried and LOVED!

After the cookbooks comes lists! If you have ever met me in person you know I love to be organized and love lists. I have to-do lists, christmas lists, birthday lists, everything! And so I being.


Those lists are my price comparison lists, my grocery lists, my bulk barn lists, and our freezer lists.

Arnold and I spent alot of time on this part last night. He did the "kitchen shopping" while I did the list making. I would ask him to find something for me and he would go and check it out for me and see what we had and didn't have. Then we went to our deep freezer and made our list of things we had and crossed off what we didn't have. That crossed off more than I thought, and made our meat purchases DOWN to 2 hams!

After this comes the part I kinda live for. It's fun to check out what everyone has for sale. I first make my grocery list and then do my freezer and kitchen shopping then I go to the flyers. I quickly look through them and compare to the grocery list and see what we have that matches. I circle it and move on. Then I go back to them and see what ones have it cheaper. I generally start with the store I'm going to and write down where the fyler is from (in this case Price Choppers) then whatever is on sale (Cheerios, cheese, ect) and the price AND the size. I do this for all the stores. It makes it a bit easier because eventually things will cross each other off. In other words one store has shortening on for 1.88 brand name. Where as another store has brand name shortening on for 2.50. So I don't bother writing down the $2.50 store.


Eventually I make it through all and I keep the flyers that are "good" deals.

Sometimes I have to do the unthinkable! I have to pull out my calculator! No just any calculator. I got one last Christmas from Santa in my stocking from Lee Valley (who knew Santa shopped there!). I begin calculating what each of the measurements/weights are for each of my "good deals". For example: WalMart seems to have *great* deals.... however. If you compare the sizes other places are cheaper and should be trusted a bit more. I start using my calculator to see what the most basic amount costs and then compare to the deals. I've even made myself the beginning of a cheat sheet in my calculator. For example 1pound = 16oz. This needs to be figured out because there is no "pound" button the calculator, but there is an oz button. Since most things are in oz or kg, ml,ect, it's easier to transfer to something else.


Once I'm finished using that I need a drink! No really! It's alot more work than people think.

My kitchen table begins to look like this once I'm finally completed:


And then comes the next part. I prepare for my trip to the store.


I get the flyers I need for the price matching, the grocery list, my cheat sheet for the price matching/comparison, my calculator (which I don't normally bring, but it came in handy), and my pen to cross stuff off my list!

Today I did ok. Sticking to my list (minus 1 extra lemon, an salad dressing and 1 extra container of apple cider) It was $171.09. If you include the shopping my husband did the night before (milk, extra clips for the light, a cake and some things for supper) we are at $200.21!! Not too bad.

Now we aren't done shopping. We have to go to Costco for a few things, and Bulk Barn for a few more and then we are totally finished! It's kinda nice once it's all over.

But for those of you who think Grocery shopping is so easy you have NO idea! Our total time looks more like this:

Pre-planning - 3hours
Grocery shopping - 2 hours

5 hours total (again more shopping to come).

I hope your Menu Planning is just as fun, if not a bit easier.

ETA - I should also note that this grocery trip also includes our big Thanksgiving dinner for our Young Adults