Fantasy Is Not Reality…

February 13, 2016

HoHoHo Let the Baking Begin

February 13, 2016

My father-in-law had a sweet tooth. In fact, he has more than 1 sweet tooth-more like a whole mouthful! I’ve nicknamed him the Cookie Monster…

So the Christmas baking is done. I found the secret to successful holiday baking, for me at least. Last night I made all of the doughs & put them in the fridge.

Tonight after work I cut out the sugar cookies & noted that this particular recipe worked very well when cold. Baking parchment paper is a life saver-the cut outs went onto the parchment as they were cut, the parchment then went onto the baking sheet. When the cookies were baked, they sat on the parchment paper on the cooling racks which kept some from breaking while hot from the oven.

The mince meat pie looked like it came from a bakery thanks to a quick egg & creme wash on the top.

Now, the frosting just has to set so the frosted cookies can be packed up. The peanut butter & plain sugar cookies are in their tins. On to wrapping…

The Blue Apron Experiment Starts

February 13, 2016

I love to cook, Mrs.loves to eat. I can cook almost anything but don’t eat meat. Mrs. has a hard time describing tastes or what would make something taste better, so we lack a common language around food.

Up until now, I’ve either made two meals or we’ve each fended for ourselves. Finally, she decided to try Blue Apron. Last week a big box arrived with everything needed to make the three meals she chose from the offerings available that week. “Everything”was just that, down to the little packets of fresh herbs, the required produce, a teeny bottle of maple syrup and small plastic tubs of butter. I can’t decide if it’s cute or wasteful since most of this stuff is what we generally have on hand anyway. But I agreed to try it.

First impressions? The directions are pretty elementary but I’ve been cooking for a really long time so for someone just learning to cook, they are pretty helpful.

The food was good, prep was pretty easy and I liked the fact that we ate at the same time. I especially like the fact that Mrs. was quite happy with the food. The best linguine with chard & goat cheese was my favorite while I think Mrs. enjoyed the seared chicken, mashed potatoes and maple glazed carrots.

The next box will come in two weeks and we’ll see how the experiment works with three new recipes. As you’ve no doubt gathered, participants choose three meals from the available offerings during the meal period and the meals are shipped, ready to cook, to your home. Again, I’m of two minds. Why are we paying for something we can do ourselves? But, if it makes life easier, why not try it?

Holiday Bakng-Check!

December 23, 2015

Joys of Unexpected Gifts

December 16, 2015

There are many gifts at this time of year-the scent of a real pine decorated with ornaments collected over the years, each one with a special memory; the neighbourhood houses lit up with colorful lights; the sounds of favourite carols heard year after year and the sense of peace that the perfect gift found for a loved one.

As I was getting ready to leave for the day Dolly began barking in a way that told me another delivery had arrived. When I went to the door, a package addressed to me was waiting. I didn’t order it. So I brought it in & began to open it, noting the sender’s address was in Victoria, BC.

I am so lucky to work with an amazing management team-they are always supportive and have (and USE) common sense in their dealings with team members and sponsors.

The box revealed some wonderful foodie treats from which is a company that provides yummy gourmet treats while choosing a different charity each month to receive 10% of their profits.

The photo shows what was in this amazing box: Green Peppercorn Dijon mustard, Cranberry Pear white balsamic vinegar, Tuscan Herb Infused olive oil, Vermont Maple dark balsamic vinegar, Spiced Cranberry jam, Caramel sauce & dark (very dark) chocolate. Wow. Just Wow. Can’t wait to make dinner tonight!

Knitting for Christmas

December 15, 2015

Less than 2 weeks to go & I’m knitting like crazy to be done in time. Happens every year, no matter how early I start. I keep thinking of new people who just <have> to have something I made for them!

First up is a sweet little striped hat for our neighbour’s newest grand daughter. This was a very fast knit, maybe 90 minutes, 2 hours tops. Pattern came from Ravelry (Simple Striped Baby Hat).

Next is another Ravelry pattern, this time for boot cuffs. These tuck down into the top of your boots. These are Feather Lace Boot Toppers and are intended for my niece.

Last up is another Ravelry boot cuff pattern called Hurricane, intended for my sister. Both boot cuff patterns worked up easily and quickly but are pretty and functional.

Fantasy Meets Reality

December 13, 2015

This year, I vowed, I would make it happen. I thought of how I’d use quilt batting & glitter to mimic snow & where I’d place the house on the dining room table. I even thought of adding little sugared gummy trees to the tableau.

the first attempt, at my father-in-laws house on the day after Thanksgiving, failed. The icing in the kit didn’t hold the pieces together so it wound up in the trash.

I researched online & found a recipe for caramel “glue” that seemed like it would work. So I started the caramel & laid everything out so I could work quickly before the caramel hardened up.

The pictures tell the story. Caramel didn’t work. Duct tape didn’t work. Nothing did…Reality is no gingerbread house again this year…

Fantasy versus Reality

December 13, 2015

This is the fantasy. I’ve long wanted a gingerbread house on my dining room table. You know, the one that appears in fairy tales, the one that makes me love winter. First, I had a dog that would eat anything, anytime, anywhere (RIP Bailey).image.jpg

31 Days of Blogging

December 3, 2015

Yep it’s all Cheryl Sleboda’s fault (again)! She issued the 31 Days of Blogging challenge & I couldn’t resist. I’ve been terribly neglectful of my poor blog so here goes.

Catch-up: we put up the Christmas decorations on Sunday afternoon-3 hours plus a trip to storage & a quick trip to Lowe’s for replacement light bulbs. All supervised by Miss Dolly…there goes the neighbourhood. We will never win the tasteful home decorating award-good thing we never wanted to!

Doggie Daycare-AWonderful Thing!

December 3, 2015

Dolly went to day care today-she had a ton of energy after 2days of rain. She HATES getting wet in the rain, even a necessary walk becomes a chore to her.

Thankfully, her best friend goes to the same day care so Dolly & RUDY will often be car pooled.  Rudy’s mom & I dropped off the dogs, hit the

Starbucks on the way home & sat down to work.

Best Friends Furever in Cockeysville is a great day care.  The staff has been instrumental in getting Dolly to trust humans outside of her immediate circle. Their web cam lets me check on what she’s doing during the day &  I know that she’s safe & happy. Well worth the money-thanks BFF!

Dolly is the yellow lab & her best friend Rudy is the black & white pup next to her.



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