Monday, 23 February 2009

A fun book

E is really enjoying reading this book aloud to me. It is full of lots of silliness and has really fun illustrations. It is the story of a young wolf going out on a sort of coming-of-age journey; it is filled with all sorts of mishaps (aka - growth opportunities) ;-), adventure and challenges. I enjoy hearing him read Little Wolf's adventures to me but I most especially enjoy hearing the way Little Wolf signs off on his letters - Yours fedduply; Yours tiredoutly; Yours having a good think or Yours chinupply. I think I might start signing my letters that way too. ;-) I also like his little brother's name - Smellybreff. A very fun book.

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Clear out your fridge (and freezer) chili

With the Spring sale from Rancho Vignola coming up, I wanted to be sure I had ample space to store my goodies.  I had chili at Heather's not too long ago, and although I ate my fair share, with so much good food to sample from, I didn't get quite enough to quench my cravings, so for this fridge clear out, chili won over soup.  Start with a crock pot and throw in whatever is taking up valuable date storage space is my recipe for this ;-)
In this particular batch, the base ingredient was a few containers of crushed, then frozen tomatoes from last years garden.  Next I threw in some chickpeas, navy beans, green peppers, onion, garlic and lots of chili powder.  Oh, and kidney beans from a can.  Then I left it to sit on low for hours.  In the last couple of hours of cooking, I added some cooked rice and grated carrots.  A yummy, simple meal ready at dinnertime and more room in your fridge and freezer. What a bonus ;-) 

Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Does size matter?

Well...if you like chocolate it does. :-)
Have you ever seen anything so amazing? Me neither. I didn't know there even was such a thing as a chocolate bar this big. Thankfully I have a friend who is very smart about such things. Dark chocolate with almonds and local cherries. It's so pretty I can hardly bear to open it. (wha ha ha ha) Thank you lovely friend. ;-)

Friday, 13 February 2009


Here's a fun book to read if you are a popcorn fan. The boys and I read it and then, strangely enough, we started to feel a bit peckish...we needed a snack.

It seemed only sensible to have popcorn. E decided to try his "Almanzo style" with some milk and a bit of sugar over it. W said it tasted like "soggy popcorn" - surprise, surprise. ;-) E liked it.
I had mine with butter and Herbamare (have I ever said how hooked I am on Herbamare?).

For years we've eaten our popcorn with a seasoning mix that I mix up. We pop the corn and then drizzle it with some oil (usually olive or grapeseed with a bit of flax) and then sprinkle on the seasoning mix. The mix includes nutritional yeast (very yummy!), oregano, chili powder and sea salt. Speaking of which I totally forgot to make it on the last movie night. I can't believe you didn't remind me - especially you, Samantha. ;-) I guess we need another movie night to make up for it.

Wednesday, 11 February 2009

Quick and easy from the bread machine

And did I mention delicious??

My hands are really sensitive to moisture, especially in the winter, so I try to stay away from things that leave my hands wet for extended periods of time.  This is why I'm so thankful for my bread machine, which mixes and kneads my dough for me - all I have to do is pull it out (knead a tiny bit of flour in if necessary) and plop it in the pan.  I was thrilled to discover a website full of bread machine recipes that actually turn out for me (and that don't cook in the bread pan because I prefer to cook my bread in the oven)

First up is:
Raisin bread.  Filled with sweet, juicy raisins and cinnamon, it makes for a delicious breakfast or snack.  The recipe can be found here.  Did I make any changes to the recipe?  Of course :-)  Instead of softened butter, I used an equal amount of olive oil (I usually don't think far ahead enough to soften butter but oil is always ready for baking).  I also used 1/2 whole wheat flour instead of all unbleached white flour and I always add the raisins at the beginning or else I find they don't mix as well into the bread.  Oh, and sometimes I add honey instead of sugar.  I love the wonderful scent as it bakes in the oven, and we can never resist having a slice (or two) as soon as it comes out.

The other recipe I've tried and loved:
It's officially called Crunchy Wheat and Honey Bread (and is found here) but we renamed it to Our Very Favourite Bread.  Changes I've made?  Same with the butter as above (sub in olive oil) and I omit the slivered almonds (allergies).  Also, I just make my own shape and put it on a cookie sheet - sometimes I do a round loaf, but it's usually oval - and sometimes I add in sunflower or pumpkin seeds.  No matter what, it's always turned out great!  Happy baking!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Things I have been lovin' all January

My family has had the most wonderful month...lots of sunshine, hiking, swimming and snorkelling, fresh eating, outdoor time, beach time and relaxing. It was just exactly what we needed. I have so (ridiculously) many photos so I will share just a few.


Plants and flowers...

Sunsets (and the fact that almost everyone stops what they are doing and watches them - night after night. What a great way to stay present in the passing of time and to really stop and appreciate each day we have on this gorgeous earth)


Cool Canyon
Little critters...

This one needs a bit of an explanation. We hiked miles down an old royal path over a lava field past a black sand beach to a secluded area.And this is what we found. A whole lot of plastic washed ashore. These things are killers for seabirds, turtles and I'm sure many more animals as well. Heartbreaking to see. Although my family has been working on cutting back our use of plastic for years this has encouraged us to do even more.

If you can bear looking at more photos of someone else's vacation then have a peek here for a lot more.