Weekly Photo Challenge: Fresh
July 23, 2013, 1:22 pm
Filed under: 365, challenge, food, life, photography | Tags: , , , , ,

I’ve been busy with fun in the sun and missed the recent weekly photo challenges, but this one caught my attention.

So many photo options:  swimming in a lake, a newborn baby, a delicious-looking cocktail, muffins just out of the oven, but I chose these two:

What’s “fresh” in your life?


Weekly Photo Challenge: From Above

My take on the WordPress weekly photo challenge:  From Above

I hadn’t realized that I take so many pictures from above, but I love the view from up here. Family. Food. Feet.

Which one is your favorite?

Spring Treats!

Spring is in the air.  The flowers are blooming and the frost has taken a backseat to the rain, but the sun is still only making occasional appearances.  What better time to have a spring party!?

My 4-year-old’s preschool had a class party yesterday for family to attend and parents were asked to contribute treats, snacks, drinks and decor.  What fun to see the variety of delicious treats on the table; home-baked iced cookies, rice krispie treats, cupcakes, even some delicious candied-popcorn (I asked for that recipe!).


This year we made bird’s nests!  They were quick, easy, child-friendly and delicious.  Our class has a number of allergies including nuts, eggs, and kiwi so these were allergy-friendly, too. They are also super-cute and were popular among the kids and parents.

We first attempted this treat for dessert on Easter weekend, but they didn’t turn out.  Apparently when you run over to the closest corner store and purchase the only chow mein noodles they have, it doesn’t mean your nests will be edible.  Cute, but not edible.  So we tried again – successfully!



The ingredient list is short:


chow mein noodles


Ready?  Melt your chocolate, mix in the noodles and spoon them into some lightly sprayed muffin tins.  I didn’t exactly measure but found that melting the chocolate then stirring in noodles a bit at a time until they were completely covered but not too “wet” worked well.IMG_1769

Once they’re in the tins, use your fingers to make the shape nest-like so there’s a place to put the eggs.  Then add 3 Cadbury mini-eggs (you could use other types like jelly beans or something, but these look so cute and taste great!).IMG_1770

My 4 year old happily helped with the mixing, spooning, and placing the eggs, then licked the spoon clean, of course!  It’s a bit of a sticky process, but they come together quickly and look and taste great.



Weekly Photo Challenge: My 2012 in Pictures

As a final post before the new year begins, I thought I’d participate in the weekly photo challenge of “my 2012 in pictures”.  As I looked back, I was surprised to see how much we travelled.  Not quite the same as before kids, mostly local trips, but still away from home somewhere almost every month!

I was also surprised by the number of photos of food I took this year – food that marked special occasions, vacations, birthdays, holidays, and class treats for school so I’ve decided to post those photos instead of our various trips.  Let me know what you think!

Turkey leftovers? Here’s some inspiration . . .

After several days of holiday meal planning, baking, prepping, and cooking; it’s officially time for leftovers!

Now don’t get me wrong, I love turkey dinner leftovers especially when I had back-to-back Christmas dinners and was treated to prime rib with my in-laws last night.  But rather than just recreating your turkey dinner out of tupperware containers, try this delicious recipe from Jamie Oliver!

"It's not a pretty-boy pie; it's a proper, old-school pie that everyone will be over the moon to see on the table."  Jamie Oliver

“It’s not a pretty-boy pie; it’s a proper, old-school pie that everyone will be over the moon to see on the table.” Jamie Oliver

He featured it on his Christmas Special last week and we had a test run with chicken. We liked it so much we both went back for seconds!

This time, I’m making two and popping one in the freezer.  Because we didn’t have any, I substituted pancetta for the bacon and left out the chestnuts, otherwise I wouldn’t change a thing, just be sure you roll out the puff pastry so it’s not too thick.  Enjoy!


Meal Plan Week Three
February 4, 2012, 10:33 pm
Filed under: family, food, ideas, organized | Tags: , , , , , , , ,

It’s been a busy week; nothing unusual – the kids, school, groceries, activities, dance class, birthday party planning, lost time on Pinterest and trying to spend some quality time with my husband at the end of the day.  But, I’ve been gently scolded for not posting my meal plan this week – I just never had time to sit down and type it in.  So if you’ve been following along, here is last week’s menu – I’ll be working on next week’s tomorrow and will get it posted by Monday!

Monday:  Steak with Mushroom Risotto and Steamed Green Vegetables

Tuesday:  Thai Yellow Prawn Curry with Jasmine Rice (we didn’t get to have it the week before!)

Wednesday:  Pork Tenderloin with Apples & Onions served with Garlic Beans and Spinach

Thursday:  Spicy Lamb Stew

Friday:  Spiced Snapper with Tomatoes & Onions with Steamed Green Vegetables

I an also excited to have found a new notepad to go along with my grocery list; it’s a magnetic weekly menu – perfect for posting on the fridge!  I smile at the sight of it.

Organized with a side of Yellow

Delicious Asparagus Risotto
January 24, 2012, 2:53 pm
Filed under: family, food, ideas, organized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

This is one of my favorite side dishes – simple and delicious for a weeknight dinner, yet elegant enough for guests.  And since you’re eating the entire asparagus stalk you get the health benefits, too; apparently, asparagus is one of the most nutritionally well-balanced vegetables — high in folic acid and a good source of potassium, fiber, thiamin, and vitamins A, B6, and C.  Tonight we’ll be having this along with some grilled pork chops after the kids are in bed; they can have some leftover “green rice” tomorrow!

Here’s the version I use from my favorite cookbook, The Food of Italy: a Journey for Food Lovers, published by Whitecap.

Asparagus Risotto, Serves 4 – 6

  • 2 lb 4 oz asparagus, washed and stems removed
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 2/3 cups risotto rice (Arborio)
  • ¾ cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 tbsp thick cream (I often use 2% milk or whatever I have on hand)

Cut the tender asparagus tips and cook in boiling water for 1 minute, drain and refresh in iced water.

Cook the remaining asparagus spears in boiling water for 8 minutes, or until very tender. Drain and place in a blender with the stock. Blend for 1 minute, put into a saucepan, bring to a boil and maintain at a low simmer.

Heat the olive oil in a large wide heavy-based saucepan. Add the onion and cook until softened, but not browned. Add the rice and season; stir briefly to thoroughly coat the rice.

Stir in a ladleful of the simmering stock and cook over moderate heat, stirring continuously. Continue like this for about 20 minutes until all the stock has been added and the rice is al dente. Add the parmesan and cream and gently stir in the asparagus tips. Season with the salt and pepper and serve hot.


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