Sunday, October 30, 2011

Four Meals In, One Out

Hi everybody!  How did your week go?  I see that some of you have snow already!  YUCK!  I sure feel for you.  I haven’t seen any white flakes yet, but I’m sure it won’t be long now.  Did anyone attend a Halloween party this weekend?  My kids are excited for the “big” day tomorrow.  I’ll be spending part of this evening getting their costumes ready for school tomorrow.  Noah’s class is having a little party and Sarah (being in grade 7) will be going to an afternoon dance at the school. 
I wanted to make sure I popped by to post last week’s meals.  Can I just day that I’m SO glad I got back into planning dinner for the week?  It’s one less thing to worry about each night when I get home.  Two thumbs up, for sure!  So Monday was soup & grilled cheese night.  I made the broth in my crock pot using the chicken bones that I have from our beer butt/roasted chickens so all I had to do when I came home from work was strain it into a pot, add a can of diced tomatoes (with the juice) and chicken from the bones.  Instead of grilled cheese I toasted a slice of rice bread for dipping.IMG_6536
On Tuesday I had the time to roast a chicken which is a rarity through the week at this house!  I also made peas and quinoa to go with it:IMG_6538 Can I just say that it’s getting dark so much sooner lately?  Good thing next Saturday we change the clocks!  On Wednesday I grilled turkey sausage with bell peppers and onions.  I also sautéed mushrooms, garlic and Mache as another side.  Quinoa made another appearance on my plate while the fam ate mac n cheese with theirs.IMG_6540 Thursday was another busy night so I dug into the freezer for some pulled pork that I had made in the crock pot previously and froze without sauce.  I just warmed it in a pan with a bit of broth and hickory flavoured BBQ sauce.  It was delicious served over a toasted rice bun smeared with avocado hummus:IMG_6541 We went out with friends for dinner on Friday, but no pictures.  It was a real informal meal of burgers and salad.  Perfect for the end of a busy week!  Some of the leftovers were eaten as is within the next few days while some were transformed a bit.  I used some of the roasted chicken to make an awesome sandwich with vegetable antipasto, Mache and cassata cheese….IMG_6539 Some of the (sauce less)  pulled pork went back into a sandwich with roasted red pepper, basil pesto and mozzarella cheese:IMG_6532 Delicious!!  On Saturday we went to Subway for lunch.  It’s the first time I’ve been since going (mostly) gluten free.  I went with a turkey sub in salad form which ended up being fabulous!IMG_6544
And lastly, tonight’s dinner.  I baked salmon fillets and served them with brown rice and mixed veggies:IMG_6545
A lovely Sunday dinner, even though it’s not pot roast!  HAHA!  Check out next weeks plan over on my facebook page……
Have a great week, everyone….
Bye for now!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

A Week of Dinners

Ola!  How was everyone’s week?  I was sidelined with a head cold, but tis the season, right?  I blame it on the office.  Something is wrong with the heating system and the temp didn’t go above 68* all week.  One day when we got in it was 63*!!!  My hands and feet were pretty much ice cubes all week long.  Not fun.  Have you caught “the dreaded” fall cold/flu yet?  At least I found some pumpkin spice coffee to keep me warm!IMG_6531  
The Redbrick Cafe is a family favourite around here.  I went in one day last week looking to buy this coffee and they were sold out!  They did tell me that I could purchase it at a store just around the corner so I hightailed it over there for a bag.  Earlier in the week I made a delicious GF pumpkin muffin recipe.IMG_6521
I find life much easier if I am sure to keep GF “treats’ around the house that I can just grab and run with.  It’s easy to get cranky if I need a little something something and there’s nothing that I’m able to grab a handful of.  These muffins fit the bill perfectly.  Unfortunately (or fortunately) the fam loved them, too so the batch didn’t last very long!  I should note that the only 2 changes I made was to use pumpkin puree, not pumpkin PIE puree and I used almond breeze instead of water. 
My weekly menu plan was successful yet again.  Wednesday was they only night that things were switched up.     Let’s take a look, shall we?  Monday night was Pork tenderloin chilli served over cheesy buckwheat waffles:IMG_6517 IMG_6516 Waffles can be such a fun base to savoury meals.  Bonus if you have kids because waffles just make dinner that much better!  We topped our waffles off with some avocado hummus:IMG_6515   Tuesday was chicken night.  I didn’t want to BBQ the breasts because we ate our chicken that way all summer.  I garnered my creative juices and decided to stuff’em!  I cut a pocket into the thickest part of the breast and filled it with basil pesto, roasted red pepper strips and cassata cheese, which is an Italian cheese comparable to mozzarella with a bit sharper of a flavour.  I made steamed green beans and red quinoa as sides:IMG_6522 This was my favourite meal of the week by far!  Wednesday was suppose to be pasta with sausage Bolognese sauce night, but nobody was feeling like pasta so I made breakfast for dinner.  I toasted the last of the cheesy waffles, scrambled 8 eggs and used the sausage meat to make patties.  These were pretty easy; I just added some spices to the meat and formed small burger shaped patties.  I baked them in a 350* oven for a 1/2 hour.  The kids loved them!  My plate consisted of eggs, GF bread and leftover chicken and green beans:IMG_6523 Thursday saw a beef roast in the crock pot.  I added about 1 cup of water and seasoned the roast with garlic and seasoning salt and let it alone for 10 hours on low.  I should mention that the meat was still a bit frozen when I put in or I would’ve only let it go 8  hours.  I steamed some broccoli and made a pot of mac n’ cheese for the fam.  I finished off Tuesday’s quinoa:IMG_6524 Noah had an out of town hockey game Friday night so dinner had to be QUICK and on the road.  I baked off 2 Ristorante pizza’s for the fam:IMG_6526 And made myself an egg sandwich on rice bread with avocado hummus and cassata cheese:IMG_6527 Meal of champions, right there!  Haha!  Another perk to meal planning is that there are leftovers for lunch everyday of the week.  And sometimes for breakfast, too!  I had 2 lonely (sweet) waffles left in the freezer from last Sunday so I toasted them this morning and topped them with some peach preserves and slivered almonds:IMG_6535 YUM!  Here’s a shot of the peach preserves, which I bought yesterday on a whim.
Summer in my mouth, right there folks!  I’ll leave you with a photo I took of Pepper yesterday.  I seem to be a pro a getting him mid yawn which makes him look SO mean!IMG_6528
I die!  Remember, you can see what’s on the menu this coming week over at my facebook page!
Bye for now!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Parties, Dinners and Waffles

Hello!  How was everyone’s week?  Mine turned out to be pretty busy; both at work and home.  It’s all good, though.  I prefer a busy work week because busy = FAST and who doesn’t appreciate a quick work week?  The weekend has been really fun!  Friday we partied the night away at Noah’s hockey team’s fundraiser dinner/dance.  What a GREAT night!  Dinner, dancing, drinks socializing, ticket selling; the evening was a HUGE success.  The early numbers are in and it’s looking like we raised almost $12,000 for the team’s budget.  This money is used for tournament fees, extra (specialized) training for the boys and team building events off the ice.   Noah took a picture of us before we left;
Saturday the boys had their first win of the season!  They’re doing pretty good this year compared to others….1 win, 3 ties and 2 losses.  Today Noah was back on the (indoor) soccer field for practice.  This will be a weekly thing now.  It was nice to catch up with the soccer parents!  I miss them after spending so much time together this summer. 
I once again stuck to my menu plan for the week.  The only night I didn’t was pasta night (Thursday) because the kids wanted hotdogs instead so Jason and I ate turkey sausage.   Here’s a recap of the weeks eats;
Monday night we did a chicken on the BBQ rotisserie.  I also sliced 3 potatoes and a red onion and placed them in foil with some butter, S&P.  The package joined the chicken on the BBQ.  Veggies brought up the side.  Tuesday night the fam had pizza.  I went with a sandwich filled with brie, avocado, tomato and lettuce on GF bread:IMG_6490 Wednesday was pork chop night.  I just did up a pan of fast fry chops, made a pot of quinoa that I jazzed up with freshly grated parm and salsa and sautéed spinach and mushrooms for some greens:IMG_6491 Enter turkey sausage night!  The sides were kept super simple; corn and basmati rice.IMG_6492 Friday was party night so the kidlets enjoyed Subway.  There was lots of food at the party….carved pork & beef, 2 pasta dishes, salads, bread cheese & fruits trays…I had a bit of beef, salad and cheese, but wasn't too hungry.  Usually, when I’m in a situation where there are lots of people and activity around me, I tend to forget about the food and focus on the excitement.  Anyone else like this?
Monday was Thanksgiving in Canada, but we celebrated on Sunday at my parents place.  The weather was SO gorgeous that we ate outside!  We’ve NEVER been able to eat Thanksgiving dinner outside!  Mom made a turkey with all the fixings.  My plate looked like this;IMG_6481 Everything was SO delicious!  
This morning I made two batches of waffles; sweet & savoury.  They’re a gluten free recipe that I found at this site.  The original recipe was done first, as is:IMG_6511
I topped 2 with raspberry syrup and agave for a delicious breakfast!IMG_6512
To the second batch I added salt, pepper and chilli flakes and omitted the cinnamon.  Once the batter came together I stirred in 2 cups of grated sharp cheddar cheese:IMG_6510 These will be used in tomorrow night’s dinner.  Speaking of tomorrow, you can check out next week’s menu plan on my facebook page
What was your favourite meal last week??
Bye for now!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Saybon Candy Winners!

Happy Tuesday!!  I'm here with a quick post to announce the winners of the Saybon Candy contest.  Seeing as I had so many entries from both my blog AND Facebook page, I decided to go old school in how I picked the names:
Of the 51 entries, the winners are:

  1. Debby Sunce Dowse - comment left on FB Oct 3 @ 3:53pm
  2. Sienna Palin - comment left on FB Oct 3 @ 9:38pm
  3. Kim - comment left on Krista's Kravings Oct 3 @ 5:21pm
  4. Janet Pymento - comment left on FB Oct 3 @ 7:12pm
  5. Joyce Lynne Waldner - comment left on FB Oct 3 @ 4:29pm
CONGRATS to the winners!  Kim, I have your email address and will sent the coupon link ASAP.  Debby, Sienna, Janet & Joyce; please email me your info at

Thanks to everyone who entered!!

Bye for now!

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Some Sad News & Last Week’s Menu Plan in Review

Hi, everyone!  It’s Thanksgiving weekend in Canada and I’ll soon be on my way to my parents house for a great dinner, but I wanted to touch base to let you see how my menu plan from last week went and to share a bit of crappy news.  :/
This past Tuesday night I received a phone call from the Humane Society letting me know that one of my fur babies, Charlie had been hit by a car.  He did not survive.  I can’t even describe how heartbroken I was….and still am.  We adopted Charlie 9 yrs ago when he was barely old enough to be separated from his Mom.  He always had a real natural instinct to go out; for the better part of 8yrs we did our very best to keep him in.  This past summer he  started to act out somewhat so we decided to let him explore knowing full well that being hit by a car was a very real danger.  He was good about staying on our property, but a few weeks ago something compelled me to put the collar on him that we got when we adopted Pepper from the Humane Society.  I am SO thankful that I did or we’d still be wondering what happened to him.  The girl who took the call let me know that although he’d been hit, he was not run over.  When she arrived a small group of people were with him; someone even put a sweater on him.  She rushed him to the emergency vet clinic, but he died on the way.  The fact that people stopped to help our little cat gives me such peace.  Although we weren’t home when this happened, he was not alone at the end.  IMG_5865
I will be perfectly honest here; after Tuesday I was not in the mood to cook or eat, but I did stick to my menu plan!   And I have photo evidence!!!
IMG_6463 Monday night’s crock pot vegetable & chick pea curry….IMG_6474 Tuesday night’s BBQ’d chicken thighs with corn and some gluten free bread that my hubby surprised me with!IMG_6473 IMG_6472 Here’s Wednesday night’s Pineapple Quinoa Cashew stir fry from Veganomicon:IMG_6475 IMG_6476 And Thursday night was pasta night.  Noah had a hockey game and I always try to get some pasta into him on these nights!IMG_6478 These are rice noodles, the fam had regular WW pasta.  On Friday I stuck to the turkey sausage and the fam had peas and mac & cheese with theirs.  I decided to slice mine and serve it over some leftover pasta:IMG_6479 Then for lunch yesterday I ate the last little bit of pasta with sautéed spinach.IMG_6480 There’s no photo evidence, but we enjoyed homemade chicken burgers for dinner last night.  Yummy! 
You can check out what this week’s menu looks like over at my Facebook page.  Also, don’t forget to enter my Saybon Candy giveaway…there’s still time!!
Bye for now!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Saybon Candy

Last week I received a sweet surprise on my doorstep!

Saybon Toffee and and Fruit Taffy!  Saybon candies, which are Allan Candy’s latest candy brand, include 11 varieties of classic smooth cooked hard candies, handmade batch taffies, double crafted centre fills, caramelized sugarmilks and sugardust sweets.  These candies are proudly made in Canada and are peanut free and kosher (the sugardust sweets are NOT kosher).

Meet the SAYBON Family

Caramelized Sugarmiks - Assorted Toffees, Assorted Éclairs, Dairy Fudges
·         Sugarmilks are caramelized with the perfect blend of milk, sugar, heat and time to create a rich and creamy tasting candy.

Handmade Batch Taffies - Butt’r Mints and Fruit Taffy
·         Each piece is folded and slab cut by hand, one batch at a time, creating a chew reminiscent of the original Atlantic City salt water taffy.

Smooth Cooked Hard Candies - Glitter Mints, Butt’r Creams and Menthol Eucalyptus
·         Ingredients are cooked in a thin layer to create traditionally smooth candies, soft to the tongue and dense with flavour.

Double Crafted Centre Fills - Assorted Crunches and Soft-Centered Fruits
·         The crunchy hard shell and smooth creamy centre are crafted then combined to create the perfect taste.

Sugardust Sweets Scotch Mints
These traditional mints are pressed, poured or panned to create a packed powder candy that dissolves on the tongue and coats the mouth with sweetness. 

It goes without saying that these did not last long at my place.  While I prefer the rich, creamy toffee variety, the kids were keen on the fruit taffy.  The strawberry were the first to disappear!  I also brought a bag of each to work for the ever popular candy dish.  My co workers must've liked them because that dish was emptied out rather fast!  :)

Saybon candy retails for approx $2.99 and are available at major retailers across the country.

Would you love a chance to win an e-coupon to try a bag of Saybon candies? I just happen to have FIVE to giveaway!!  Simply leave a comment on this post OR visit my Facebook page and leave a comment there and I will email you the e-coupon.  Once you click on the link you will be asked to sign-up for a account and select the SAYBON coupon. will then send you a coupon in the mail. The e-coupon is full value and can be redeemed for one 176g bag of delicious SAYBON candies of your choosing.  You will have until Monday, October 10 to enter and I will announce the winner the following Tuesday.  Not necessary, but I'd sure appreciate it if you could link back to this post as well....

Bye for now!!     

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Alarm Free

Happy Sunday, all!  Has everyone been enjoying a great weekend?  Mine’s been more low key than usual which is just fine by me.  Yesterday and today I actually got to wake up naturally, read; NO ALARM!  I seriously can’t remember the last time I was able to go to bed without setting my alarm.  It’s not even that I sleep late, it’s just SO nice wake up on my own, ya know?? 
It’s definitely been a lot cooler lately, this weekend in particular.  Only 6*C right now!  I was hoping to go another few weeks before starting the furnace up, but we cracked yesterday and started it up.  I’ve also been using the oven as a heat source.  Yesterday after groceries but before Noah’s hockey game I baked another batch of granola from Quinoa 365:IMG_6401
I love that this makes such a massive amount (7 cups) of granola!  And we all like it, so it never goes to waste.   Sarah helped me out with another recipe from the book:IMG_6456 She seems to be developing a real interest in the kitchen, so I let her do most of it for me.  I only had strawberry jam so we used that instead and the bars turned out GREAT!IMG_6458 The quinoa flour *almost* makes it taste like there’s peanut butter in the crust.  Noah actually thought this and I didn’t try to change his mind.  ;)
Breakfast yesterday was a big stack of pumpkin pancakes topped with blueberries;IMG_6438 How absolutely delicious does that look?  I could go for another stack right now!  HAHA  I had one rice tortilla left in the fridge so I decided to fill it with some eggs.  I cooked a big handful of spinach, added some turkey deli meat (GF) then poured in about a 1/2 cup of Egg Beaters. When it was just about set I added some goat gouda w/ chilles:IMG_6454 Then wrapped it up!IMG_6455
I don’t know that I’m too fond of the rice wraps.  They taste fine, but tend to get awful hard which in turn makes them crack.  Hmm….For dinner I made a BIG batch of homemade butternut squash soup which was served with plain Greek yogurt and grated mozzarella:IMG_6439 Soup just never photographs well, does it?  I had some toasted rice bread on the side for dipping.  YUM! 
Sarah is trying out for a volleyball team here in town so a few tryouts have been taking place.  IMG_6427
I know; just what we need right?  Another competitive sport in the house!  But I firmly believe in giving my kids every opportunity out there that they show an interest in.  This may make for a busy life right now, but when you think of it, at 12, I really don’t have many more years left with her before she leaves for school and what such so it’s a small price to pay. 
Let’s see….not much more to report.  The gluten free thang is still going well.  Like I’ve said before; I’m sure there is still some gluten in my diet, but the bulk of it has been removed and I’ve been feeling better.  It’s really only been 7ish weeks and I was told to give it at least 4 months to *really* see results, so I’m gonna stick with it for the time being.  On that note, I have a delicious salad waiting for me to eat for lunch!  Talk soon!
Bye for now!!!