No Skirt, No Service
July 26, 2013, 10:12 am
Filed under: family, kids, organized | Tags: , , ,

My great friend had me laughing out loud this morning – enjoy!

Growing Signs


I woke up this morning realizing that exactly 10 years ago today, I had taught my first baby sign language class at Cambie Community Centre. My daughter was just a year old and I had been creating a curriculum to teach my own baby sign language classes, which would allow me to make my own schedule instead of returning to my previous full-time job designing & teaching kids’ recreation programs.

You should know that I am one of those people who likes to plan, prepare, and practice when I teach. I have shelves full of binders and folders of my teaching notes. For this new venture I had written up everything I was going to say, every sign I was going to teach, every song I was going to sing during the hour-long class, and even some anecdotes to share. I had 11 pages of notes and 10 flashcards. I…

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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.


Salmon with Warm Lentil Salad
January 23, 2012, 2:34 pm
Filed under: family, food, organized, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , ,

“a heart-healthy, weeknight meal from Real Simple”

Serves 4 and is truly a 30 minute meal! You can prep the dressing in advance and cook the salmon while the lentils are cooking. My kids don’t like the arugula, but enjoy the salmon so we give them edamame or peas as well.

  • 1 cup green lentils, rinsed
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 tbsp plus 1 tsp of olive oil
  • 1 ¼ lbs skinless salmon fillet, cut into 4 pieces
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ¼ red onion, chopped
  • ½ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 bunch arugula, torn (approx 4 cups)
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges

Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add the lentils and 1 tsp of salt and simmer, stirring occasionally, until tender, 20-25 minutes; drain.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tsp of oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the salmon with ¼ tsp each salt & pepper and cook until opaque throughout, 4 to 5 minutes per side.

In a large bowl, combine the vinegar, mustard, onion, parsley, the remaining 2 tbsp of oil, and ¼ tsp each of salt & pepper.

Add the lentils and arugula to the vinaigrette and toss to combine. Serve with the salmon and lemon wedges.

Meal Planning Week Two
January 23, 2012, 2:14 pm
Filed under: family, food, organized | Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Last week went well other than Monday’s Pork Salad – it wasn’t the recipe I remember and was way too salty! The Grilled Fish Tacos are always a hit and the first recipe I ever posted here.  Lasagna was easy as I had pre-made it and frozen it for future dining; I’ll post the recipe along with the meatloaf (which my family enjoyed while I was dining on a delicious trio of soups at a friend’s place).  We didn’t have the seafood curry last week as my husband and I went  for dinner with an out-of-town friend, so it’s being added to this week’s menu.

This week we are having: 

Sunday:  Grilled Salmon with Warm Lentil Salad

Monday:  Braised Italian Chicken Thighs with Green Beans & Olives

Tuesday:  Grilled Pork Chops with Asparagus Risotto

Wednesday:  Beef & Chorizo Chili

Thursday:  Pepperoni & Mushroom Home-made Pizzas

Friday:  Thai Yellow Curry with Shrimp and Scallops over Jasmine Rice

I’ll work on getting the remaining recipes posted – if there’s one you want right away, let me know!

(as an aside, I keep this notepad on my fridge so I can easily track my grocery list and add to it as we run out of things – very handy!)

Meal Planning 101
January 15, 2012, 5:18 pm
Filed under: food, organized | Tags: , , , ,

Ok, a new year calls for better organization and planning.  I’ve been working on this project half-heartedly since my youngest was born (he turns 3 in February!)  I am finally going to take my meal plan from the planning stages and put it to work:

  1. gather meal ideas and recipes that we enjoy the most together in one place
  2. draft the week of meals for Monday – Friday
  3. vary the dishes by type and taste while factoring in activities and events during the week
  4. write a grocery list
  5. go shopping and start cooking

This week we are having: 

Sunday:  Olive & Tomato Baked Chicken Breasts with Steamed Vegetables

Monday:  Thai Caramelised Pork Salad

Tuesday:  Grilled Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Sour Cream

Wednesday:  Classic Lasagna with Green Salad

Thursday:  Classic Meatloaf with Steamed Vegetables (I’ve never made meatloaf before!!)

Friday: Thai Yellow Curry with Shrimp and Scallops over Jasmine Rice

I’ll let you know how it goes and post the recipes, too!

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