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May 30, 2014

Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast Cookies

This is a kid approved recipe.  My girls love these cookies as an occasional treat for breakfast.  

Makes 12 cookies

Ingredients:

3/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp butter, softened
1/4 cup brown sugar
3 tbsp sugar
1 egg
1/2 cup applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup oats
1/2 cup cereal flakes (I use Cornflakes)
1/3 cup dried fruit (cranberries, raisins, chopped apricots)
1/3 cup chocolate chips or chopped nuts (walnuts, pecans)

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.

2.  Line a cookie sheet with a non-stick baking liner or parchment paper.  

3.  Measure the flours, baking soda, cinnamon and salt into a medium-sized bowl and whisk to combine.

4.  Place the butter and sugars in a large bowl and beat with an electric whisk until well combined.  

5.  Add the egg, applesauce and vanilla and beat until combined.  

6.  Add the flour mixture and beat with a wooden spoon until well combined.

7.  Fold in the cereal, dried fruit and chocolate chips or nuts until just combined.  

8.  Wet your hands and form 12 equal sized dough balls.  

9.  Place dough balls approximately 2" apart on the prepared cookie sheet.  Flatten each slightly.  

10.  Bake for 15 minutes until cookies are light brown.  

11.  Cool on the cookie sheet for 10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely. 

Enjoy!


May 28, 2014

Vanilla Body Butter

Vanilla Body Butter

This recipe is simple to make, uses skin nourishing ingredients and smells wonderful!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup shea butter
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup carrier oil (sweet almond, grapeseed, jojoba)
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract or 20 - 30 drops of vanilla essential oil

Directions:

1.  Half fill a saucepan with water and bring to a boil.

2.  Place a glass bowl over the saucepan (ensuring that the bowl does not touch the water).  

3.  Turn the heat down to a simmer.

4.  Add the shea butter and coconut oil to the bowl.  Stir until melted.

5.  Take the bowl off the heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.

5.  Add the carrier oil and vanilla.  Stir.  

6.  Place the bowl in the freezer for 15 - 20 minutes to solidify.  

7.  Remove the bowl from the freezer and whip until fluffy.  If the body butter does not whip well, place in the freezer for a few minutes and try again.

8.  Store in an air-tight glass container.  
    

What is your favourite skin care product to make?


May 26, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday - May 26, 2014



As I look outside my window...
Another beautiful day.  It will rain later this evening, but for now it's 22C.    

Right now I am...
Typing up this post and then I'll be looking through the flyers and planning my grocery shopping.    

Thinking...
About this blog.  I'm thinking about the big move to Wordpress.  Does anyone have any advice or recommendations for me?

On my bedside table...
Arcadia by Elizabeth Laird

Listening to...
The birds singing outside.  

On the menu for this week...
Monday: Spaghetti bolognaise with caesar salad
Tuesday: Chicken with mushroom sauce over rice
Wednesday: Homemade mac and cheese
Thursday: Hamburgers and salad
Friday: Leftovers/buffet night
Saturday: Butter chicken with rice and naan bread
Sunday: Not sure yet!

On my to do list...
Laundry/Ironing
Inventory pantry/freezer/fridge
Write grocery list
Sweep/wash kitchen floor
List items on Kijiji
Clean girls' bedrooms

Plans for this week...
Grocery shopping
House cleaning
Paperwork/filing
Disinfect remote controls and phones
Plan Father's Day gifts

What I am creating...
Lemon loaf.

Looking around the house...
Little piles (the girls' toys, magazines, Lego) everywhere that need to be put away.  Windows are open to let in the fresh air.   

From the camera...

Playing at the water park

May 23, 2014

Fudgey Black Bean Brownies


This is a "healthier" brownie recipe. It won't taste exactly like a regular brownie, but is still good. I enjoyed it better on the second day after baking.  

Ingredients:

1 can beans, rinsed and drained
3 eggs
1/3 cup melted butter, cooled
pinch of salt if using unsalted beans
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup semi sweet chocolate chips

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.

2.  Grease an 8" x 8" pan.

3.  Blend beans, eggs, butter, cocoa powder, vanilla extract, sugar (and salt, if using) in a food processor until smooth.

4.  Pour into pan and sprinkle top evenly with chocolate chips.

5.  Bake for 45 - 50 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the centre comes out clean.

6.  Cool and serve.  Store in the fridge.

Enjoy!


May 22, 2014

The Sweetest Days


"I believe the nicest and sweetest days are not those on which anything very splendid or wonderful or exciting happens but just those that bring simple little pleasures, following one another softly, like pearls slipping off a string.”

Lucy Maud Montgomery - Anne of Avonlea

May 21, 2014

Spring Stove Top Potpourri

Spring Stove Top Potpourri


The birds are singing, the sun is out and Spring is here!  To celebrate, make this lovely stove top pot pourri to make your home smell wonderful.

Ingredients:

1 lemon, sliced
1 orange, sliced
water (enough to cover)
optional: lime slices, pineapple juice

Directions:

Add ingredients to medium sized pot and bring to a boil.  Turn down the heat and simmer on a gentle heat, topping up with water as necessary, for as long as you need.  Alternatively, add ingredients to a small crockpot and simmer.

For a more tropical potpourri, add lime slices and pineapple juice.  


May 19, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday - May 19, 2014


As I look outside my window...
A little cloudy and wet today.  Should be sunny and warm later in the week.  

Right now I am...
Looking through my cookbooks for inspiration.  

Thinking...
About my plans for today.

On my bedside table...
Angels & Demons by Dan Brown

Listening to...
My washing machine whirring.  

On the menu for this week...
Monday: Baked ham with scalloped potatoes and peas
Tuesday: ???
Wednesday: Hamburgers and salad
Thursday: ???
Friday: Leftovers/buffet night
Saturday: Tacos
Sunday: Pork tenderloin with baked potatoes and corn

On my to do list...
Laundry/Ironing
Inventory pantry/freezer/fridge
Write grocery list
Sweep/wash kitchen floor
Clean inside of windows
Shop for wellies and umbrellas for the girls

Plans for this week...
Grocery shopping
House cleaning
Paperwork/filing
Schedule eye doctor appointments
Visit the library

What I am creating...
Nothing yet this week.  

My simple pleasure...

Reading homesteading blogs.

Looking around the house...
Dishes to wash, girls playing together, have to put away papers that seem to breed on my dining room table.      

From the camera...
Princesses

May 16, 2014

Chicken Hand Pies


Makes about 10 pies  

Ingredients:

Puff pastry (from scratch or from frozen, thawed)
1 cup cooked chicken, shredded and cooled (approx. 1 - 2 chicken breasts)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 celery stalk, chopped
1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and diced into approx. 1/4" squares
1/2 cup frozen peas
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup grated cheese (parmesan / cheddar / or your favourite cheese)
1 egg for egg wash

Directions:

1.  Melt the butter in a pan and add the onion, celery, carrot, potato and peas.  
2.  Cook over medium heat for 4 - 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

3.  Stir in the flour and cook for another minute.

4.  Add the chicken broth and stir for a few minutes until thickened.

5.  Add in the chicken and cheese and stir. Allow to cool.

6.  Preheat the oven to 375F.  

7.  Grease a baking sheet or line with a non-stick baking liner.  

8.  Roll out the pastry dough to approx. 1/8" thick and cut into 5" circles. Gather the dough scraps and re-roll.  

9.  Transfer the circles onto your baking sheet.  

10.  Place 1/3 cup of filling in the centre of each pastry circle.  

11.  Wet the edges of the pastry circles with water.  

12.  Fold the dough over to form a half circle.  

13.  Pinch the edges of the dough together and crimp with a fork.  

14.  Prick the top of each pie with a fork.

15.  Beat the egg with 1 tbsp of water.

16.  Brush the egg wash over the top of each pie.  

17.  Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until the pies are golden brown.  

18.  Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.  

Enjoy!


May 14, 2014

Homemade Bubbles Recipe


Now that the warmer weather is here, the girls have been playing in the garden. One of the activities they enjoy is blowing (and popping) bubbles. Here is an easy homemade recipe, great for an afternoon of fun!

Ingredients:

1 cup water
2 tbsp corn syrup
4 tbsp dish soap

Directions:

1.  Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.

2.  Pour into bubble container.

3.  Have fun!



May 12, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday - May 12, 2014


Good morning everyone!  I hope you all had a wonderful Mother's Day weekend.  

As I look outside my window...
Beautiful!  It is going to be a lovely week.  Temperatures of around 20C.  

Right now I am...
Typing up this post and planning out my week.  

Thinking...
About plans for the summer.

On my bedside table...
Chestnut Street by Maeve Binchy

Listening to...
Silence.  

On the menu for this week...
Monday: Spaghetti bolognaise with caesar salad
Tuesday: Chicken fajitas
Wednesday: Hamburgers
Thursday: Baked maple salmon with rice and broccoli
Friday: Leftovers/buffet night
Saturday: Homemade pizza
Sunday: Peach glazed chicken with corn, peas and salad

On my to do list...
Laundry/Ironing
Inventory pantry/freezer/fridge
Write grocery list
Sweep/wash kitchen floor
Clean fridge
Clean barbecue

Plans for this week...
Grocery shopping
House cleaning
Paperwork/filing
Organize under kitchen sink
Vacuum all curtains

What I am creating...
A plan for the summer (activities for the girls and as a family).

My simple pleasure...

Watching a movie with my family.

Looking around the house...
Laundry to fold and put away, Lego towers in the process of being built, mostly tidy (so far!).    

From the camera...
My mother's day gift!

If you would like to join in, please link up to Sandra from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom here.


May 09, 2014

Chocolate Coconut Cookie Bars


Ingredients:

1/2 cup butter, melted
2 cups Graham Cracker crumbs
1 cup chopped nuts (almonds, walnuts, pecans)
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 1/4 cups shredded coconut 
1 (300ml) can sweetened condensed milk

Directions:

1.  Preheat oven to 350F.

2.  Grease a 9" x 13" pan.

3.  Melt butter and combine with graham cracker crumbs in a small bowl.  

4.  Press evenly into bottom of prepared pan.

5.  Mix together chocolate chips, coconut and nuts in small bowl.  

6.  Sprinkle evenly over crumb surface.  

7.  Pour the condensed milk evenly over the cookie bar mixture.  

8.  Bake for 25 - 30 minutes until lightly browned.

9.  Leave to cool completely.

10.  Cut into squares.  

Enjoy!

May 07, 2014

How to Test Baking Powder and Baking Soda For Freshness

How to Test Baking Powder and Baking Soda for Freshness

Baking powder and baking soda are staples in my pantry, but don't always get used very quickly. If you bake, it's important to use fresh ingredients. Here's how you can tell if your baking powder and baking soda are still good to use.


Baking Soda

Pour a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar into a small bowl and add a teaspoon of baking soda. The mixture should fizz up with lots of bubbles.  


Baking Powder

Pour a couple of tablespoons of warm water into a small bowl and add a teaspoon of baking powder. The mixture will make a fizzing noise and slowly begin to fizz. It will turn cloudy and have lots of small bubbles.  

Now you know what to look for, go and test your ingredients today!



May 05, 2014

Happy Homemaker Monday - May 5, 2014


As I look outside my window...
Snow / sleet.  It is going to be a wet and cold week.       

Right now I am...
Typing this post and watching Miss C play with her baby.   

Thinking...
That I wish I could go back to bed for a nap!

On my bedside table...
Homesteading in the 21st Century by George Nash and Jane Waterman

Listening to...
The radio. 

On the menu for this week...
Monday: Spaghetti bolognaise and caesar salad
Tuesday: Maple baked salmon with rice and salad
Wednesday: Crockpot chicken alfredo
Thursday: Tacos
Friday: Leftovers/buffet night
Saturday: Homemade chicken nuggets with fries and salad
Sunday: ???  {Mom's night off}

On my to do list...
Laundry/Ironing
Write grocery list
Watch Miss S's music concert at school
Clean fridge

Plans for this week...
Grocery shopping
House cleaning
Paperwork/filing
Clean all curtains

What I am creating...
Nothing planned yet. 

My simple pleasure...

Taking a nap! (Doesn't happen too often). 

Looking around the house...
Pretty neat and tidy.  The living room has dinosaurs, the girls' doll house and toy trains spread around. Washing machine being put to good use.      

From the camera...

The castle Miss S made out of paper


If you would like to join in, please link up to Sandra from Diary of a Stay at Home Mom here.

May 02, 2014

Trim Healthy Mama Pancakes

Trim Healthy Mama Pancakes

I have been {loosely} following the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan for nearly a year now.  I have really enjoyed some of the recipes.  This is one of them.  

Ingredients:

1 cup old fashioned oats
1 cup egg whites (approximately 7 eggs) or 100% liquid egg whites from the carton
1 cup low-fat cottage cheese
2 tsp aluminum free baking powder
2 - 3 tsp Truvia (I use 6 tsp of coconut sugar for the girls' pancakes)
1 tsp vanilla extract

Directions:

1.  Place oats into blender and blend until oats turn into powder.

2.  Turn off blender and add egg whites, cottage cheese, baking powder, Truvia (sugar) and vanilla extract.

3.  Blend well.

4.  Heat a nonstick griddle or nonstick fry pan to medium temperature.  Spray the pan with a small amount of oil spray or butter.

5.  Ladle mix into pan into pancake shapes.  

6.  Once bottom of pancakes are golden brown and tops have bubbles, carefully flip the pancakes and cook until golden brown again. 

7.  Serve with sugar-free topping of your choice.   

Enjoy!


Recipe from Trim Healthy Mama by Serene Allison and Pearl Barrett