Monday, December 9, 2019

Cozy

It's freezing cold outside, but it's cozy inside.

 
 

We've been hiding indoors making comforting dishes like borscht (that's a big scoop of sour cream in there) with sourdough bread for dipping:


Barley risotto:


And Guinness beef pie:


Wild, overhanging puff pastry, because more puff pastry is better:


This past weekend was relaxing and full of delicious eats.  On Saturday morning Christopher made a beautiful breakfast that he had been planning for about a week.

He made eggnog waffles with warmly spiced fried chicken, and a hot toddy maple syrup.


We snacked on nachos later on in the day and had some chicken and waffles again as a late-night snack.


The rest of Saturday was spent listening to music, reading, and writing in Christmas cards.  We also ventured outside to do a bit of shopping.

We are mostly done our shopping, but we still need to get a couple of $25 dollar gifts for a family gift exchange game, and two pairs of Christmas socks filled with $10 gifts for my work party. 

On Sunday morning Christopher made shakshuka.


I'm still not eating eggs too often, but I've been liking them in shakshuka where they get lost in all the veggies, herbs and spices. 

After breakfast, coffees, and some computer time in the morning, we got back in the kitchen, and Christopher made hot sauce, while I whipped up pork noodles for our work lunches:


I also softened some veggies and browned meat, and then threw it all into a slow cooker with some broth and barley for hearty beef and barley soup.


That will be our dinner tonight and tomorrow night, which is perfect because it currently feels like -33 C, so we need something to warm our bones.

Unfortunately, it's now the time of year when we start plugging our cars in and hiding under multiple blankets.  I'm just hoping it's not as bad as last year was, as that never-ending cold was almost unbearable.

Dinner on Sunday evening included a mishmash of wings, coconut shrimp, and leftover borscht.

How was your weekend?  Are you done Christmas shopping?

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Thankful Part 1

These writing prompts have been making their way around the blog world.  I saw them on Lisa's blog.  I often like to take time to reflect on what I am thankful for, so I thought it would be nice to share these on my blog too.  There are 30 questions, so I'll break them up into three posts.

1) I am most thankful for my ability to read well.  Reading was a big deal in my house growing up, and my mom always read with me as a kid and ensured that I went to kindergarten knowing how to read.  I have enjoyed it all throughout my life, and much of my day involves reading!

2) At this moment, the thing I love best about my family is how the little ones have added so much joy to all of our gatherings. And with Christopher, I love how our little home is so full of love and happiness.  Our family-of-two feels very complete. 

3) Something that made me smile today was my students. I hope that each of them goes home at the end of the day feeling like they're my favourite.

4) The best thing I smelled today was barley risotto that I microwaved for lunch.

5) One of the memories I am most grateful for is Christmas morning with my family growing up.  Christmas always felt so magical and cozy.

6) Thank goodness someone taught me how to manage my money.  When I started babysitting as an adolescent, my mom got me three little piggy banks to separate my earnings into spending, short term savings, and long term savings.  My parents always let me spend my money how I wanted but encouraged me to really consider my purchases.  If I wanted to blow all my money on one purchase, that was fine, as long as I was okay with the money being gone after that.  I took these lessons to heart.  I have gone through times with very little money, and have had to scrimp, save, sacrifice, and make my money stretch, and these life lessons have made me much more money-savvy than I might have been otherwise. 

7) The strongest part of my body at this moment is the whole thing.  I have never felt stronger, or more energetic in my adult life than I have in the past year. 

8) Even after a rough day, the things I am most grateful for at work are the people, and the flexibility I have in my jobI get to have fun at work, am always laughing and smiling, and I plan my own days and my own year, with only a couple of real deadlines, so I can move things around, switch them up, be creative, and always find new and fun ways to do things.  I could never work at a job where every day is the same for an extended period of time.  I love the variety and flexibility in my day.

9) I am so grateful that my legs carry me through anything I want to do.  My legs have never given up on me.  They just keep going and going and going; as long as I've got comfy shoes on there is no slowing me down.  I could walk for days.

10) I felt a little burst of energy today when I came home to my Christopher.  I get so excited to see him at the end of the day, so it always puts a spring in my step when he greets me at the door with his smiling face and open arms.  I'm a lucky lady.

Your turn!  Copy and paste some or all of the questions and share your answers!  Or simply, what are you thankful for today?

Sunday, December 1, 2019

A Couple Weekends

Last weekend we were in Saskatoon to see my mom and celebrate her 63rd birthday.  I baked a carrot cake to take her, as that's her favourite.

We stopped at A&W for breakfast-to-go before hitting the highway.


We spent the day with my mom and made sure she had a birthday full of all the treats she loves.  That evening we tried Ko for dinner.


The wings were really good but could have been spicier.

 

I had the ramen, and it hit the spot.  We'll be back again!


We hit the hay early, and went to Grainfields the next morning for breakfast, before going back to my mom's care home for the day.


Once we were home that evening, Christopher made a quick vegetarian Thai curry for dinner.


Other eats last week included breaded pork chops with broccoli mashed potatoes and creamed corn:


Chicken salad:


And a dinner out at Bushwakker with my dad (no photo) ...

On Friday evening we went to Jack Keaton's for a quick meal before a concert we were heading to.  The po boy wasn't great, and I really didn't like the poutine, but the bacon-wrapped brisket bites were quite good.


After eating we walked to The Exchange to see Hawksley Workman put on a killer show! 


Yesterday morning we had smoked salmon and paratha for breakfast.


Then last night we went over to our friends' Jocelyn and Michael's house for a surprise birthday for Michael.  It was a super-soft birthday (something from the TV show Letterkenny). 


There were so many good snacks, including these spicy green beans done in an air fryer:


And bacon-wrapped scallops - mmm!


Christopher loved the jerk chicken wings!


We had a really nice time catching up with friends and were home way past our bedtime.

French toast this morning:


Today we just lounged around, and this evening we're making cream chicken and rice for dinner.

How was your weekend?  What did you do? 

Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Weekend Things

Rewind to the weekend ...

On Friday evening Christopher and I got groceries and then settled in on the couch with a tray of nachos.  We've started watching Arrested Development and Schitt's Creek, and are finding both super funny!


Breakfast on Saturday morning was overnight oats, and then I don't think we ate anything else until much later in the day when we whipped up creamy parmesan fusilli.


The next morning Christopher made shakshuka for breakfast.  We haven't been eating eggs lately, but we thought we'd give them a try again, and this was really good.


After breakfast, we got a pot of bolognese sauce going on the stove, as well as a pot of chicken and dumplings.  These would be our lunches and dinners for the next few days.


I made a pan of puffed wheat cake/squares, and one of Rice Krispy cake/squares too; these are such easy desserts to throw together, and nice to have on hand when we're craving a little treat.


Our next two weekends (and probably more) will be busy, so we really enjoyed having this weekend at home to get some stuff done around the house, and do some cooking.

This week has been flying by, and it has been nice not having to cook for the past three days. 

How is your week going? 
What is the easiest dessert you make?

(The two above are definitely my easiest.  The puffed wheat recipe is linked above, and the Rice Krispy one is from the cereal box.)

Monday, November 18, 2019

Bread and a Dinner Out

I have made a couple giant loaves of no-knead seeded morning bread within the past week.


It uses spelt flour, which I don't always have on hand, but Bulk Barn to the rescue!  I love making all our bread and buns at home.  It's easy, I know what the ingredients are, and we feel great when we eat homemade food.

This bread is loaded with flax seeds and sunflower seeds.  It's probably not the best for sandwiches but is great for toast or dipping in something saucy.  We enjoyed it with chicken noodle soup last week, which Christopher made with a stock he simmered all last Sunday.  I also had it for breakfast all week, along with fruit.

Other happenings last week included a fun tasting evening at Willow Park, and also dinner with two of our faves, Mel and Steve 💙


They took us to Ginger Garlic for a belated birthday dinner, which was awesome, as this was one of the places we had been wanting to go; they also got us a gift card for another restaurant on our list - how thoughtful!  We're looking forward to trying Bar Willow very soon!


We ordered a bunch of dishes and shared everything.  It was all delicious, and the honey rice complemented everything really well.  My brother-in-law Steve wants a wheelbarrow full of this rice, haha!


We really need to get together with these two more often, as we always have fun together.  It helps that Christopher and his brother are so darn funny; Mel and I hit the lifetime-of-laughing jackpot marrying these brothers!

Our plans for Friday night got canceled, so we wrote hibernation weekend into the calendar.  More on that in the next post!

Do you make any type of bread or buns?  
What is your favourite kind of bread? 
(We don't have a favourite, as we are both carb-crazy, and need all the breads.)
How was your weekend?

Saturday, November 16, 2019

Celebrating my Father-in-Law's Birthday

My father-in-law turned 75 at the end of October (you'd never guess it if you met him), so last weekend Christopher picked his parents up, and we had them over for a belated celebration dinner.


When they arrived we had brie-stuffed mushrooms and pico de gallo with chips, while we caught up in the living room.


The main course was smoked pork shoulder with mustard sauce, borscht perogies, cabbage rolls, peas and corn, and bread.

 
 
 

Dessert was chocolate peanut butter banana cream pie.


I know not everyone is close with their in-laws, so I consider myself lucky that Christopher's parents are two of our closest friends.  We love spending time with them, and always have lots of laughs, and a lot to talk about.

We all enjoyed the leftovers for supper the next day.


Leftover meat and bread even made it into one of my breakfasts:


This weekend Christopher and I are hibernating, and just enjoying each other's company at home.  Weekends like this are the best part of the cold, winter months.

What are you up to this weekend?