Wednesday, September 29, 2010



Prep Time: 5 minutes
Bake Time: 12 minutes
Makes: 3 dozen cookies


1¾ cup sugar
1 tbsp cinnamon
2½ cup all purpose flour
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
8 tbsp butter, softened (½ c)
½ cup vegetable shortening
2 large eggs


1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees

2. Combine ¼ cup of the sugar and the cinnamon in a shallow dish for coating and set aside.

3. Whisk the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt together in a bowl and set aside.

4. Beat the butter, shortening and remaining 1½ cups of suagar together in a large bowl using an electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, 3 to 6 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, scraping down the bowl and beaters as needed.

5. Reduce the mixer speed to low and slowly mix in the flour mixture until combined, about 30 seconds. Give the dough a final stir with a rubber spatula to make sure it is combined.

6. Roll into balls about the size of a ping pong ball, then roll in the cinnamon sugar. Place on parchment lined baking sheets about 2” apart. Bake until the edges are set and just beginning to brown, but the centers are still puffy, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Oliver Approved!

Teriyaki Chicken - Best Ever

Best Ever Teriyaki Chicken

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 50 minutes
Serves: 4


8 bone-in, skin on chicken thighs
2 tsp vegetable oil
½ cup soy sauce (use the low sodium if you can)
½ cup sugar
2 tbsp white wine
1 tbsp grated ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
½ tsp cornstarch
1/8 tsp red pepper flakes


1. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels, then season generously with pepper. Heat the oil in a deep 12” non-stick skillet over med-high heat until just smoking.

2. Add the chicken, skin side down, then weigh down with a large pot (the largest you can fit inside the skillet. Cook until the skin is a deep mahogany brown and very crisp, 15 to 20 minutes. (The chicken should be moderately brown after 10 minutes. If it’s very brown at 10 minutes, turn down the heat, if it’s still pale, increase the heat).

3. Remove the weight and flip the chicken over. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook, without the weight, until the second side is brown and the chicken is thoroughly cooked, about 10 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, whisk the soy sauce, sugar, wine, ginger, garlic, cornstarch and pepper flakes together.

5. Transfer the chicken to a plate. Pour off all of the fat from the skillet. Whish the soy mixture to recombine, then add to the skillet and return to medium heat. Return the chicken to the skillet, skin-side up, and spoon the sauce over the top. Continue to simmer until the sauce is thick and glossy, about 2 minutes longer.

NOTE: Here's a picture of the chicken after the pot comes off for the flip. This is the colour that you're aiming for before you flip them.


Sept. 1, 2010

Bo was in London today for a meeting (again tomorrow too, Booo!), so it was just Oliver and I for the night. I made dinner easy on myself so that I could make some mini pizzas for Bo when he gets home and eat with him, so for Oliver I cheated and stopped at Sobeys for a ¼ chicken and some potato wedges. I did make some carrots for him though. Lord does this boy love his carrots!

He ate a bit of the chicken, not a ton, though he did have quite a few carrots and a couple of potatoes. I won't say that dinner was a complete write off. While he was eating I decided that my boy needed a cookie; a nice soft homemade cookie. The problem was that I'd never made a nice, soft, homemade cookie before. Quite a conundrum. Oatmeal chocolate chip? No problem. Fancy Christmas cookies, please, childs play. A delicious, melt in your mouth, fluffy, airy, soft warm cookie. Now that gives me chills. It seems so difficult, a cookie with a hint of cake, I didn't know where to start. Should I look online? Would googling for "nice soft homemade cookie" actually bring any usable results?


Apparently to the rest of the world nice soft homemade cookies = sugar cookies. Not what I was going for. So, I did what I always do, I broke out old faithful (The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook) and I flipped through the cookie section. Snickerdoodles. I'd never seen one before, though I'd seen the name in a few other picture-less cookbooks.

An aside: why do people make picture-less cookbooks. Do many of you actually just make a dish and hope for the best when you have no idea what it is. I can't do it. My heart can't take it. I completely second guess myself and become convinced that the final result looks nothing like it's supposed to. Picture-less cookbooks are the devil to an anxiety ridden, panic attack susceptible me.

Any way, the picture of the Snickerdoodles looked like exactly what I was looking for. The description as a cookie favored in the South was a nice touch too (I always picture myself as an Alabama living, coon dog owning small town kind of girl, who just happened to be born in Canada).

Short story made long now being made short again; they were fantastic!

I adjusted a couple of things in the recipe, because why not right. I also made the cookies half the size as recommended and am very glad for that, I can't even begin to imagine the disaster that would have baked in my oven.. Oliver was quite the fan, and paraded around the house proudly displaying his cookie half to me (I only ate the first half to make it easier for him to hold, honest).

The sweet kid even shared it with me when I asked. Ok, so first he tried to give me a yellow disk with a picture on it, but when I didn't accept that he relented and let me have a bite of his cookie.

Picture time!

Hey Oliver, can Mommy have a bite of your cookie?

Well, thank you, that's a sweet offer and all, but I'm not really big on yellow picture disks. You know what I am a fan of though, Snickerdoodles (who knew). Mommy would really like another bite of your snickerdoodle (the first half of it just wasn't enough). 

 Ok, ok. Mommy promises that this will be the last bite she takes of your cookie. Cross my heart and all that jazz.


Mommy loves you.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

BBQ at Jenny's

Saturday Aug. 28, 2010

Today we spent an absolutely fantastic day at Jenny and Alex's house. The weather was perfect, one of the last perfect days actually, not too hot and not too cold. Alex BBQ'd some ridiculously good pork chops for us, and there were tons of sweets and lots of delicious fruit. Yeah, I tend to stick on the food, what can I say. Did I mention that Alex BBQ'd some ridiculously good pork chops. Man were they ridiculously good.

Any way, nothing shows how great a BBQ is like pictures, so I'll let them to the talking today.

Oliver's First Haircut

Aug. 21, 2010

I've been SO incredibly lazy about posting (which I swear is about to change). Anyway, to have some sort of a record of when things happen (thank you photo dating), I'm including the date on the posts until I'm caught up.

Despite all the family cursing and swearing all bloody hell should we cut Oliver's hair, we did exactly that. It's not as if we shaved it all off, it's just that his bangs were constantly in his eyes and he had these (adorable) little curls playing around his ears that drove Bo nuts.

So, on a Saturday morning we loaded up and headed off to Newmarket and Melon Heads (a really cute kids haircut salon). They were going to take us right away, except the only "chair" available was a pink car with white daisy's all over it, and Bo was having none of that. We decided to wait for a more boyish chair to become available. Oliver had no problem with this though. As it turned out, another set of parents had just put a dollar into a motorized horse, but the poor thing found it to be too rough for her (it was quite the violent horse). See was around 6, and her father offered Oliver the rest of the ride. Of course he'll go one.

Oliver didn't just go on the horse. He grabbed the reins (metal bar, whatever), plastered a giant smile on his face, and road the hell out of that horse, for 22.5 seconds until the ride finished. Then he gave Bo some of the greatest cut eye that I've ever seen, and I dug out another dollar from my purse. All was right in the world with his second ride, and after that a cute orange fish chair (just like Nemo) opened up.

Bo and I had no idea what to expect. We were worried that he would scream and cry, or move around too much and make it impossible for his hair to be cut. Or worse, gasp, he would move and they would cut him.

Why did we worry. Why haven't we learned that Oliver is a perfect child, perfect in every way. How many examples does he have to give us before we just accept that yes, he's perfect and nothing's going to change that.

He sat still the entire time, he didn't mind when they wet his hair, or turned him around. The only thing he showed any interest in was the electric clippers, and even then all he did was turn to see where the noise was coming from. I'm sure it helped that they had playhouse Disney on the tv for him to watch (Handy Manny no less).

In 10 short minutes his hair was cut and we were on our way out the door, me with his first clipping. Our little guy is growing up, and looking the part too. It's kinda nuts how a simple thing like a hair cut can make your baby look frighteningly like a little boy.