Monday, December 10, 2018

The Weekend

We had a really fun weekend!  On Friday night we went out for my work Christmas party, where we visited, laughed, played games, and then kept the evening going with some karaoke.

It was a much needed night out, and we were out late!

After sleeping in on Saturday morning, Christopher went into work for some overtime hours (which are easy to come by this time of year), and I lounged around on the couch.  We napped in the afternoon, and then got ready to go out again on Saturday night for our friend Jeff's birthday.

The birthday party was at Cathedral Social Hall.  We ordered pickle spears to start - mmm!


Then I had the chicken salad, and Christopher had the poke bowl.


It was another pretty late night, so we slept in again on Sunday.  We were eating this breakfast closer to lunch time ...


December is one of the busiest months for us, as I think it is for most people, so we made a point this year of planning easier meals, or cooking larger amounts on the weekend to have leftovers for the weekdays.  It's nice to come home from work and be able to just warm something up, before going out Christmas shopping, or heading to a get-together.

On Sunday evening we cooked up a batch of chili, and also roasted a leg of lamb with some parsnips, carrots, and potatoes.


We ate the chili last night and for lunch today, and then we had the lamb for dinner this evening after doing some Christmas shopping.


There is enough left for tomorrow's meals, and lunch on Wednesday.

After a busy weekend out and about, we're looking forward to a cozy weekend at home next weekend, with loads of Christmasy snacks, baking, and movies!

How was your weekend?  What did you do?  
Is this month busy for you?  
Are you done your Christmas shopping? (We're alllllmost done.)

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Wiped Out

Last week started out okay, and just got worse and worse.  I rarely get sick, but I came down with what I think was a flu, although it was unlike anything I had ever experienced before in my life.  The incredible fatigue was the worst part.  I could barely get up off of the couch, and every small movement completely exhausted me.  All the meals we had planned to make last week we pushed forward to this week, and I basically did nothing other than lie on the couch.  Christopher took really good care of me.  Surprisingly I still had an appetite, so he made salads, or I just had soup or smoothies, but it was an effort to down them, and I usually gave up long before I was full.  Most evenings I went to bed at 8:00 p.m., and was still completely exhausted in the morning.  Ugh. 

Luckily I was feeling well enough by Saturday to go to Saskatoon to visit my mom.  We enjoyed her company, and then picked up soup to have in our hotel room, as that was about all I had energy for.  On Sunday I was starting to get some energy back.

I was looking forward to cooking today, as it felt like a long time since I had been productive in the kitchen.  This evening we made scallops with parsnip puree, from the latest issue of Food Network Magazine.


We thought it was pretty good, but not good enough to make again.

I am so happy to be feeling more like myself again, as we have some fun get-togethers coming up later this week.

Have you been sick this winter?  How was your weekend?  How is your week going so far?  Do you have any social engagements coming up?

Sunday, November 25, 2018

Sunday Stuff

I hope all my American readers had a wonderful Thanksgiving!

We've been doing a lot of cooking lately.  Some recent meals have included lasagna:


With a makeshift caesar salad (had to throw the romaine out, so we used iceberg):


Beef tacos:


Bee bim bop:


Salmon with rice:


Beef pot roast:


Served with mashed potatoes, broccoli, and gravy:


Cauliflower rice:


Pizza:


Creamy bacon pasta:


Beef stroganoff:


Pork chop with a caper sauce, rice, and cucumber:


Breakfasts have looked like this:


And I baked some muffins too:


On Friday evening, after running numerous errands, it was too late to start cooking, so we picked up Indian food:


We've been lazing around this weekend and warming up the delicious leftovers.  We also made a trip to the new Costco in town; it is always such a busy place, so we really dread going, and usually make a trip only once every couple of months.  We stocked up on the things we'll need before Christmas.  I'm finding it hard to believe we are already thinking about Christmas, when it feels like just days ago that I was on summer holidays.

Our Spanish Level 1 class ended just over a week ago, which is good, since our evenings will now be busy with holiday get-togethers, shopping, and of course whipping up all sorts of festive goodies.  Level 2 starts up in the new year, and we're looking forward to it.  We should be able to get by quite well when we head to Havana in February.

Once the cold weather hit a while back, we decided to roast some type of meat dish every Sunday evening.  It started with a turkey, then a couple weeks back we made a smoked pork shoulder, then a beef pot roast last Sunday, and today we're making a pork roast.  It makes the house smell amazing and feel all warm and cozy, and provides us with leftovers for a few lunches.

In the spring I posted about the Best of Bridge: Sunday Suppers cookbook, which we were impressed with.  This week we're making a few dishes from Best of Bridge: Weekday Suppers, so hopefully this book is just as good.  Stay tuned!

How was your weekend?  What did you do?  If you're American, how did you spend Thanksgiving?  Did you cook any Thanksgiving dishes?  If you're Canadian, are you watching the Grey Cup?  Did you make snacks?

(We aren't interested in the game tonight, so Netflix it is!)

Monday, November 19, 2018

Brunch with Friends

It didn't feel like it had been over a year since we got together with our friends Colin and Erica, but it had been.  Not this past summer, but the summer before, they had us over for a delicious dinner.  On Saturday we had them over to our place for brunch, and it was like no time had passed since our last get-together; I love that!

We caught up for a bit in the living room over cheese, grapes, and coffees.


Then Christopher got started on the fried chicken for chicken and waffles.


Other eats included mini frittatas, deviled eggs, and fruit skewers.


Time to dig in!


We ate a lot, laughed a lot, and had a great time together!


I made sure to warn everyone to save room for dessert.

Berries on a cloud:


This was a nice way to kick off a fabulous weekend!  And, we've decided there is no way we're waiting so long again to get together with Colin and Erica.  We always have such a fun time with them.

How was your weekend?  What did you do?

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf

I've got a great recipe for you!  I recently had some canned pumpkin to use up, so I whipped up a loaf with it, and it turned out so well that I made another loaf a couple days later.


It is easy to make, very moist, and super flavourful. 

For the spice in it I used 1.5 tsp of my homemade gingerbread spice:


It just takes minutes to throw together and is great to have on hand, but you don't have to use this.  The recipe for it is from Food Network (2 T each ground ginger and cinnamon, 2 tsp ground allspice, 1/2 tsp each ground nutmeg and finely ground pepper and 1/4 tsp ground cloves), and they also have numerous different recipes that you can make calling for this spice mixture both here and here.

If you don't want to make the spice mixture, you can just use pumpkin pie spice instead, or 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, and allspice.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Loaf

1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup canned pumpkin (not pie mixture)
1/2 cup olive oil
2 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp gingerbread spice (or pumpkin pie spice, or 1/2 tsp each of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice)
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Pre heat the oven to 350 F and spray or grease a loaf pan.  Sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, and salt.  In a separate bowl, carefully stir together the pumpkin, oil, egg, water, and spice.  Combine the wet and dry ingredients until just mixed; don't over mix.  Stir in the chocolate chips.  Pour into a greased loaf pan.  Bake 50-60 minutes (test with a wooden skewer/toothpick). 


This is a recipe I'll be making again and again.  I actually don't make a lot of loaves, and didn't really have any stand-by loaf recipes that I swear by ... but now I do!

Do you make loaves?  What is your go-to?  Banana?  Lemon poppy seed?  Chocolate zucchini?  Pumpkin?  

Have you done any baking lately? 

Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Meals to Last

On Sunday evening we made a smoked pork shoulder, hashbrown casserole, peas, buns, and the yummiest tangy mustard sauce, but we didn't have it for dinner.  Instead we had ribs and a beet, goat cheese, spinach salad:


The rest of the food was to eat for the next few days.

 

Some we packed up for lunches, and had a lot left for a couple dinners too:


It was nice to come home yesterday and today and just have to warm up our meal.  Winter arrived yesterday, and by the time I got home around 6:15 p.m., I was soooo hungry, super cold, and the last thing I wanted to do was start cooking.  We warmed up a plate, ate, and were on the couch with Netflix in no time.  We recently finished Making a Murderer 2.  That show is mind-blowing and makes me so sad.  If you haven't watched Making a Murderer 1 & 2, I highly recommend them.  The second season is particularly good (although heartbreaking).

On Sunday I also made a quiche so that most of my breakfasts for the week would be ready too.  I have some earlier mornings this week, so this really speeds things up.  I pop a slice in the microwave, add some fruit and coffee, and breakfast is served.


Do you do any kind of meal prep on Sundays?