Friday 3 March 2017

Friday, it's Friday!

What a week it's been.  Re-adjusting to work and winter after a week in Cuba - oh how I miss the sun and the ocean.

Now that I'm back in the world of the internet (access in Cuba is not great), here's what caught my eye this week:

What it feels like to be the last generation to remember life before the internet.

Which human foods you can and can't feed your dog.

Pan Dulce - otherwise known as Mexican sweet bread.

Handwriting helps you to learn.

Mini caramel-chai spiced apple pies.

And 26 words you have to say out loud.

Happy Friday!

Thursday 9 February 2017

Chicken Broccoli and Mushroom Stir Fry

I'm thinking that February is the new January.  Truthfully, I'm not entirely sure what happened to January.  I managed to get Christmas decorations put away.  I fed my family.  I washed dishes and did the laundry.  All the other things that I hoped to accomplish?  They're now on the February list.

I have a bunch of recipes I want to share with you, so we'll start with this one.  I've made this chicken broccoli mushroom stir fry twice in the past two weeks.  It's easy to make, and really tasty.   I originally saw it on Facebook - one of those videos that show you how to make a meal in 30 seconds.  Except it didn't really take 30 seconds.  More like 30 minutes, which is still pretty quick.

Cut up some chicken, dredge it in flour, and fry it up.

Mix up the sauce and stir fry the veggies.

Mix it all together... and done.

Serve over rice or noodles.  Prepare for everyone to tell you how good it is.

Chicken Broccoli and Mushroom Stir Fry


2 tbsp cooking oil

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into ¾" pieces
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ cup all purpose flour

1 cup chicken broth
¼ cup honey
¼ cup soy sauce
½ tbsp fresh ginger, peeled and grated, or ½ tsp ginger powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp sesame oil

1¼ lb (6 cups) broccoli florets
1 small onion, sliced
¾ lb (12 oz) sliced mushrooms

Sesame seeds for garnish


Toss chicken breast pieces in flour, salt, and pepper.

Heat 1 tbsp cooking oil in a large pan.  Add chicken to pan and brown on all sides.

While chicken is cooking, combine sauce ingredients - broth, honey, soy sauce, ginger, garlic, sesame oil - in the same bowl that the leftover flour from the chicken is in.  Whisk it all together.  Set aside.

Remove cooked chicken from pan and set aside.  Add another tbsp of cooking oil to the pan and once it's hot, add the onion, broccoli and mushrooms.  Stir fry until the broccoli is crisp tender and the
mushrooms are soft, about 5 minutes.

Pour the sauce into the hot vegetables. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Simmer 2 minutes or until sauce is thickened then toss in chicken and cook another 30 seconds or until heated through.

Serve over rice or noodles, sprinkle with sesame seeds.  Enjoy!

Original recipe here

Tuesday 10 January 2017

Hello 2017, and Sticky Upside Down Apple Gingerbread Cake

It's January.

Which means I've been pinning all of the detoxifying salads and cleansing smoothies.  I've joined photography challenges and seven day juicing challenges, and even looked at fitness challenges.

I bought a new planner.

And I've been eating Ferrero Rochers and pizza, and crackers with Brie and fig jam, and Eggs Benedict and smoked salmon and burgers with fries.

I've had zero smoothies.  I made a salad with dinner one night, but reached for the fresh baguette and butter instead.  I've walked back and forth to my car.  My planner is still blank.  I did manage to go through a closet and put a few bags of clothes together to donate, so there's that.

The mind is willing.  It's so ready.

Yet today, the second day back to school, we're having another snow day.  I think that makes five so far, and winter has only just begun.  So I made myself coffee with Bailey's and egg nog, and contemplated taking down the Christmas tree.

And I looked at the apples in the fruit basket, almost past their prime, and thought about baking.  Not muffins this time.  Gingerbread.  I should have posted this recipe in December, because it's amazing, but gingerbread is something that goes well with winter, not just Christmas.  And there's always apples waiting to be baked into something good.

Sticky Upside Down Apple Gingerbread Cake


Butter for greasing pan

4 tbsp butter
1/2 cup brown sugar
pinch of salt
4 apples, peeled, cored and cut into 8 wedges each

2 1/4 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg

1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup molasses
1 cup buttermilk*


Preheat oven to 325°F.  Grease a high sided 9" cake pan.

Melt butter in a small saucepan.  Add brown sugar and simmer over medium heat for a couple of minutes, stirring constantly.  Stir in salt, remove from heat, and pour into bottom of cake pan.
Overlap apple slices in a circular pattern on top of the caramel.

In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and spices.

In a large bowl, whisk the eggs together with the brown sugar.  Add the molasses, then the melted butter and combine well.  Stir in buttermilk, then flour mixture.  Stir together and pour over apples in prepared cake pan.

Bake 45-50 minutes until centre of cake is set.  Mine cracked...that's OK :)  Let cool in pan on cooling rack for 15 minutes, then turn out onto plate large enough to catch any caramel spills or wayward apples.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or freshly whipped cream.  Tastes just as good once it has cooled.

*If you don't keep buttermilk on hand, make your own buttermilk with one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar for each cup of milk. Put the tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in your measuring cup, then add the milk to measure one cup of buttermilk. Allow to sit for a few minutes before combining with the other ingredients.

Happy New Year!

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Thursday 15 December 2016

Ginger Cookies and Snow Days

Today was the second snow day we had this week.  After two years of green Christmases, we are buried in the white stuff with ten days to go.

Monday's snow day was a good day for a Chocolate Upside Down Cake.  This afternoon we ended up snacking on fresh Pizza Buns.

There was hot chocolate, with egg nog and peppermint.  Our 14 year old's specialty.

But what a day like this really calls for is these perfectly soft and spiced ginger cookies.  Like gingersnaps without the snap.  They are my daughter-in-law's specialty, and they were made for snow days.

Soft Ginger Cookies

3/4 cup butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 large egg
1/4 cup molasses
2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
Extra sugar to roll cookies in

In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and molasses. Combine the flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt.  Gradually add to the creamed mixture and mix well.
Roll into 1-1/2-in. balls, then roll in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350°F until puffy and lightly browned, 10-12 minutes. Remove to wire racks to cool. 
Makes 2-1/2 dozen.


Thank you for featuring me!

Fearlessly Creative Mammas

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Apple Walnut Banana Breakfast Muffins

Baking success!  For the first time in months, I've created a keeper!  

These Apple Walnut Banana Breakfast Muffins are all kinds of amazing.

The day after we returned home from Ireland, we went apple picking.

And I got my baking mojo back.  Over the weekend I made apple pie and apple crisp, and last night I made these muffins.  Apples, bananas, flax, oats, walnuts, molasses, buttermilk....and no added fat.

These muffins are incredibly moist and flavourful, and I'll be whipping up another batch tomorrow because they didn't last long!

I'm still working on getting all of our Ireland photos uploaded.  Will be sharing the highlights soon!

Apple Walnut Banana Breakfast Muffins

Makes 18 muffins

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup ground flaxseed
1 cup oats
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1 large or 2 small apples, chopped

1 cup buttermilk*
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 large or 2 small bananas, mashed
1/4 cup molasses
1 tsp vanilla

Pre-heat oven to 350°F.  Grease a muffin pan, or use paper liners.  In a large bowl, combine all of the dry ingredients.  In a medium sized bowl, whisk together all of the wet ingredients, then stir in the apples.  Do not overmix.

Fill muffin cups and bake for 16-18 minutes, until golden brown and toothpick inserted into centre of muffin comes out almost clean.  Cool in muffin pan for 5 minutes, then move to cooling rack.

*If you don't keep buttermilk on hand, make your own buttermilk with one tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar for each cup of milk. Put the tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar in your measuring cup, then add the milk to measure one cup of buttermilk. Allow to sit for a few minutes before combining with the other ingredients.

Loosely adapted from this recipe from the Pioneer Woman.

Looking for more wholesome muffin recipes?  Try these!


Thank you for featuring me!

Friday 23 September 2016

Hey, it's the Weekend!

Yesterday was the first day of autumn, but it was still feeling a lot like summer.  The weather has been fabulous.

The past couple of weeks have seen us eating out more than usual.  I've been feeling sort of lazy and uninspired in the kitchen.

We did a little front door refresh.  Our son did most of the work, and I'm amazed that we raised a child that knows his way around a toolbox.  New paint, lighting, and window inserts....and it feels like an entirely new entry way!

Chrysanthemums are blooming.

And my passport is going to be put to use tomorrow... my girl and I are off to the land of shamrocks and leprechauns :)

Follow me on Instagram to see what we get up to.

Happy Weekend!

Tuesday 20 September 2016


Well, this is awkward.

It's September.

My last post was in March, and I've got some catching up to do.

We went to Mexico.  It was awesome.

I hit the big five-oh.

There were growing up milestones.

Our youngest graduated elementary school.

Our oldest bought a house.

Another one of our boys bought himself a new truck.

It's been a gloriously hot and sunny summer.

 We did Niagara Falls.

Boldt Castle and a Thousand Islands Boat Cruise.

Toronto Zoo.

Camping at Killbear Provincial Park.


Our oldest son is now married, and it was a beautiful, wonderful, magical day.

Then another one of our boys went away to school.  That was hard.

And on the first day of school I realised that my youngest child is in high school.

I have been proud and happy and wistful and sad and nervous, sometimes all at once.

And now that everyone is settled, and the house is a little quieter, I'm feeling strangely adrift.

Time to get back on course!

Sunday 27 March 2016

Happy Easter

Easter isn't happening around here this year, unless you count the two bags of Cadbury mini eggs that we've gone through this past week.  We're probably going to order pizza for dinner.

We're organising, list making, and packing.  Because tomorrow morning we'll be on the road while it's still dark out, heading to the airport.

To spend a week in Mexico.

So, luggage, bathing suits, sunscreen, and flip flops have become the focus of the weekend.

This past week we had another ice storm.  It was a lot worse than the one we had a few weeks ago.  We lost power a few times, thankfully less than an hour each time, and the ice build up the next morning was almost an inch thick.

Cadbury mini egg blondies.

Waffles, because apparently that's what one needs to feel better when sick.

 Shopping for summery things while the ice and snow made a mess outside.

My camera and flip flops are ready.  Follow me on Instagram to see what we get up to.

Posts from Easters past here.

Wishing you a happy Easter!

Wednesday 23 March 2016

The Village at Blue Mountain

Sometimes you just have to grab a friend and hit the road.

The Village at Blue Mountain was a great place to spend the afternoon, even though we weren't skiing.

The Christmas store was full of beautiful things.

Including some fun Easter displays.

Beavertails and Poutine, of course.



Lunch at the Firehall.

Winter is over (despite the winter storm headed our way tonight) but I hope to return to Blue Mountain with the whole family next winter...with skis and snowboards!

Happy Wednesday!

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