Friday, November 26, 2010


I've got one of those horrendous colds today. The kind where you can't even thing about food, or plans, let alone put them onto paper (or a blog, whatever).

At this rate my grocery list for tomorrow is never going to get done.

At this rate, I'm ok with that.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Santa Claus Parade

Nov. 21, 2010

It's that time of year again in Toronto. When thousands of parents line the city streets with their kids, all so they can get a view of Santa on his first official trip out. We met Nana and Papa there, who despite my impecible directions on where to meet, which included repeated (at least 10) instructions as to what side of the street to park on, still got it wrong. You'll see why this is an issue in the pictures (hello crowds). For the record, they parked on the wrong side, and were literally 20 minutes crossing the street to meet us.

You know what else.

It was cold. Really bloody cold. Like, the last place on earth I wanted to be at that moment cold. And chucks, they aren't warm enough foot attire for such a day. Neither was my lack of mittens. Or hat. Or scarf.

Can you spot what is hilarious in this picture? Hint: it's the pigeons slowing making their way into the pet food store. OK, so that wasn't really a hit. Oh well.

Daddy and Oliver. Doesn't my screwy camera setting make it look nice and warm.

Camera's fixed, not so warm now. And look, Bo's waving to Nana and Papa. Who are across the street. On the wrong side. Sigh.

As usual, straight to Papa

And quite excited about everything that's going on.

Nana, Papa, and Oliver.

Love this.

The poor kids hat kept slipping over that right eye. At least he was warm though!

Yogi, waving at Oliver, making his life at that moment.

Oliver waving back.

Oliver and Nana, who was happy she finally got to hold him.

Hey guys, I think I see him, I do, I think I see him!


After the parade we were supposed to go to the Raptors game, but the parade ran really long, and with all the street closures, it game was over by the time we got there. We did stop for dinner on the way home though, at Kelseys.

Oliver decided to eat lemon and lime wedges. We couldn't get the camera fast enough for the first few bites.

But we got it in time for this one! Don't think that he stopped either, because he didn't. He is such a weird little boy. I love it.

Those eyes. My heart. Those eyes.

A Riddle For You

What happens when a pregnant woman posts her recipe for Chocolate Sheet Cake?

She daydreams.

She drools (at work no less)

She tries to talk herself out of what she's thinking about doing

She resigns herself to the fact that there will be no talking herself out of it

She fights in her mind about the merits of picking up Oliver first, then the pecans, or vice versa

She drools

She can actually taste the chocolate

She remembers that it's garbage night and she doesn't really have any time to waste

She remembers that she doesn't care that it's garbage night, because all she wants is chocolate cake.

Not that I know this from experience.
This is simply conjecture.


Texas Chocolate Sheet Cake

Texas Sheet Cake

Can I put this under snacks? Because seriously, I could graze on it all. damn. day.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 10 (unless I'm there, then pretty much only me)


2 cups flour
2 cups white sugar
¼ tsp salt
7 tbsp cocoa powder
1 cup butter (16 tbsp or 2 sticks)
1 cup boiling water
½ cup buttermilk
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
½ tbsp espresso powder (optional)

1 cup finally chopped pecans, toasted (optional)
14 tbsp butter (1¾ stick)
6 tbsp cocoa powder
6 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla
3½ cups confectioners sugar


1. Preheat your oven to 350°F.

2. In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, sugar and salt.

3. In a saucepan over med-high heat, melt the butter, then stir in the cocoa. Pour in the boiling water and boil, stirring for about a minute, then take it off the heat and pour it over the flour mixture. Give it a good stir.

4. In a small bowl, mix together the buttermilk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla. Stir this into the chocolate flour mixture.

5. Poor into a sheet cake pan and bake for 20 minutes.

6. While the cake it baking, make the icing. In a sauce pan over med-high heat melt the butter, then stir in the cocoa powder, stir to combine, then take off the heat. Add the milk, vanilla and confectioners sugar, stirring well to combine. Stir in the pecans. Pour the icing over the hot cake.

TRICK: If you don't have buttermilk, simply put 1 tbsp of lemon juice or vinegar into your measuring cup, then fill up with regular milk and give it a quick stir. Let it sit for 5 minutes and, presto, buttermilk!

NOTE: This cake does fit in a sheet pan (think for jelly rolls), but barely. Take your time with the icing, you'll have to scoop it back onto the cake as it approaches the edges. It's fine if some hits the counter though, because then you can just eat it yourself!

Credit where it's due: I originally got this recipe from then made a few of my own changes.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Potato Leek Soup

Potato Leek Soup

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves: 8


1 cup butter
2 leeks, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
salt and pepper to taste
4 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp corn starch
4 cups yukon gold potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk


1. In a large pot over medium heat, melt butter. Cook leeks in butter until tender, stirring frequently, about 15 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant and softened, about 15 seconds.

2. Stir cornstarch into broth and pour broth into pot. Add the potatoes and bring to a boil. Add the cream and milk, reduce the heat, and simmer for at least 30 minutes, until the potatoes are tender. Season with salt and pepper before serving.

3. OPTIONAL -  Purée the mixture in your blender, or with an immersion blender. It all depends on if you like your soup smooth or chunky. I'm a smooth gal myself.

Breakfast Loafs

Breakfast Loafs (aka Breakfast Muffins)

I got the idea for this one last week from a poster on the bump. I couldn't find a recipe on-line, so I had to wing it, but was pleasantly surprised! This is another Oliver approved breakfast!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Bake Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4 (makes 8 mini loafs)


1 box of chicken stove-top stuffing mix
1 pkg of frozen sausage mixture (it comes in a tube, no casing)
1 tsp Italian seasoning
¼ tsp poultry seasoning
½ tsp old bay seasoning
¼ tsp black pepper
4 eggs
¾ cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 green onion, diced thinly (optional)
salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat your oven to 375°F. Grease (hello Pam) a mini loaf tin pan or large muffin tin pan.

2. Make the stuffing as per the box directions. While the stuffing is resting, brown the sausage in a medium fry pan over med-high heat along with the Italian seasoning, poultry seasoning, old bay seasoning and pepper. Remove the cooked sausage from the pan and drain any excess fat.

3. In each loaf pan, place ¼ cup of the stuffing mixture, then top with ¼ cup of sausage. Crack an egg into 4 of the loaf pans and sprinkle a little bit of salt and pepper on top of the egg. Top each of the loafs with some grated cheddar cheese diced green onion.

4. Tent with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the foil, poke the egg yolks (if you don't want them runny), and continue to bake for 5 more minutes, or until the eggs are completely cooked and the cheese is melted.

NOTE: Feel free to crack an egg on each of the loafs. With the egg, one loaf is a large enough serving for someone, as long as there's some fruit or something on the side. We each ate 1 loaf with egg, and 1 loaf without.

Chicken Pot Pie

Chicken Pot Pie

I've spent a couple of weeks on this now, and finally have it to the point where I think it's perfect, there's nothing else to add or do to it (such a relief). I'll probably try to figure out how to freeze it at some point, but for now I can't stand not cracking into it as soon as it's out of the oven. Enjoy!

Prep Time: 40 minutes
Bake Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 8


3 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
1 cup diced carrots
1 cup frozen green peas
1 can corn niblets
2 cups potatoes (white or yukon gold), peeled and cubed
½ cup celery, diced
4 cups chicken broth

2/3 cup butter
1 small onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
2/3 cup flour
½ tsp old bay seasoning
½ tsp poultry seasoning
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
¼ tsp celery seed
1 cup milk
1/3 cup heavy cream or ½ and ½ cream
2 packages of pillsburry pre-made pie crusts (4 crusts total)
1 egg, beaten


1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.

2. In a large saucepan, combine the chicken, carrots, peas, corn, potatoes, celery and chicken stock. Stir to ensure everything is covered with the stock. Cover and boil for 15 minutes. Remove from heat, drain into a colander set over a bowl to retain the stock for later. Set the chicken mixture and stock aside.

3. In the same saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and then cook the onions until translucent and softened. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, 15 seconds. Stir in the flour, salt, pepper, old bay seasoning, poultry seasoning, garlic powder and celery seed. Whisk in the chicken broth, milk and cream in 4 batches, ensuring that the mixture is well combined between each addition. Simmer until starting to thicken, then remove from heat.

4. Roll two of the pie crusts together, creating a large rectangle. Fit the pie crust into a 9" x 13" baking dish, ensuring at least a ½" overhang all around. Brush the crust with the beaten egg, then pour the chicken and vegetable mixture into the crust. Evenly pour the sauce over the chicken mixture, and use a wooden spoon to move the filling around to make sure everything is covered.

5. Roll the last two pie crusts together, then top the dish, sealing and crimping the edges. Brush the top crust with the beaten egg and poke several small slits into the top crust to allow steam to escape.

6. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes, until the pastry is golden brown and the filling is bubbly. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Time to get our paint on

Nov. 20, 2010

Oliver likes to paint, and it used to be that almost every weekend I'd bust out the finger paints for him on Saturday morning. For the last few months though, he's been happy colouring with his Crayola's, and I've been happy not having to scrub paint out from under his fingernails.

I figured that was being pretty selfish though, so this Saturday I busted the paint back out.

I was regretting it as soon as I did it.

Come on Mom, you know that this isn't enough paint for me.

Alright, I'll start with this...but know that I'll need more!

What the...NOOOOOOOO. 
What Mama? Finger painting alone is so last month, head painting is the latest thing.

Look at that smirk. Look at it. He's plotting something again!

If only I could get out of this chair and over to the walls...

Hmmm... What could I do to get out of this chair...

By this point I'd just reserved myself to let what happens happen. Shudder.

I wonder if I could climb up that bookcase and reach the ceiling to paint it? Just call me Michaelangelo. 

Maybe I'll wait until later to try though... I'm getting a little tired from all this painting.


From here we went straight into a much needed bath, where the water turned a rainbow of colours. It was pretty great.

A boy and his...

Nov. 17, 2010

Every boy should have a dog cat, right? Especially a cat like ours.

I haven't talked about Montana much, but really, she should get her own blog.

She comes to a whistle.
She loves getting her belly rubbed.
She snores loud enough to hear her through two doors and down a hallway.
She gives you five when you ask.
She greets you at the door every night.
She never scratches or bites, even when Oliver is literally pulling out her whiskers one by one.
She loves my boy like he was her own. Which is weird. Very, very weird.

Every night when we get home from daycare, Montana greets Oliver and the door. Once his coat and shoes are off, Oliver repays Montana by laying on her and giving her bear hugs.

And she loves this. She really does. You can hear her purring from any corner of the house.

My cat is weird.

Almost as weird as my boy.

I'm starting to think that she's not really my cat anymore.

I think I'm ok with that too.

I think I should be worried.

Nov. 16, 2010

Remember my boy, I wrote about him in that last post...which I wrote about 30 seconds ago.

Well, it seems being a goof is just in his blood. It also seems that he's reworking the definition of goof to include a portion of bad-ass.

I regress.

When I was pregnant, and everyone would ask me what I hoped for, here was my list:




easy going,

a bit of a bad-ass.

It looks like I got exactly what I asked for.

This is Oliver destructive face. It's the face he makes when he's plotting something, when he's trying to figure out how to climb up something, or when he's about to run and tackle me.

Today, it was because he decided to find a new use for an old seat; one he hasn't used in a very long time. So he tried standing in it...

And sitting on the back...

And pushing it around...

None of these things were too horrible (or dangerous), and this scares me, because it means he'll figure something much worse out in the near future.

Sandal loving Mama's boy!

Nov. 1, 2010

My boy. My baby. Littlest me with the giant eyes and Daddy's smirk. Why must you do these things that make you look so much older then you are.

And make your Mama laugh.

Lord how you make your Mama laugh.

Tonight, while waiting for Daddy to get home, Oliver decided to learn how to walk in flip-flops. Sure I could see how this could have ended badly, with bruises and crying, but I weighed my options and figured the risk for a couple of pictures was worth it.

I was right. And for the record, there were no mishaps.

What am I going to do with this child. And what is his Daddy going to do with him, lol, Daddy hates sandals!

I think I've mentioned before...

Nov. 13, 2010

I think I've mentioned before that my kid is goofy.

He constantly looks at me with these eyes, which is completely unfair. How can you not do whatever they're pleading for.

And this is how he eats, with his arm slung back, totally chill. Add this to his feet, which he's resting on the kitchen table but you can't see...

I'm done for. I'm totally, completely done for.

Pizza Rolls

Pizza Rolls (aka Pizza Fingers)

These were my favorite things to order at a restaurant called Melanie Pringles in the town I grew up in (I think it's still there). When we moved, I found them at M&M Meats, but then they stopped making them. I had no choice but to figure out the recipe on my own. Lucky me it was ridiculously easy, and they freeze well. Woot!

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4


1 package large won-ton wrappers (16 count)
1 package pre-sliced pepperoni
Motzerella cheese, grated
2 small cans of pizza sauce
Any other toppings you want
1 tbl cornstarch mixed with ½ cup of water


1. Pre-heat your deep fryer to high, or get a couple of inches of oil in a deep pot (If using a pot, prep the rolls first, then heat your oil and cook, never leave hot oil with your back turned).

2. Lay out 4 won-ton wrappers at a time. Ust a basting brush to brush the water/cornstarch mixture around all four edges, about ½" wide (this helps the edges stick). Place pepperoni, about 1½ tbsp sauce and 2 tbsp motzerella onto the center of each won-ton.

3. Now it's time to roll them up. First, fold the two corners in where the filling is. Flatten the edge as much as you can. Then roll one of the remaining corners over, and press it down along the edges. Finally roll up, and pinch any edges/ends that you can. FYI - There's usually a diagram on the back of the won-ton wrapper to follow (I'm sure I haven't done a good job of describing it here!)

Note:  You can cook right away, or just cover them with plastic wrap and keep in the fridge until you're ready to cook. I usually prep them the morning that I'm going to cook them, so that it's nice and quick later on. You can keep them in the fridge for up to a day, any longer and I would cook/freeze.

4. Fry the rolls in three batches of 6 (in a deep fryer) until golden brown, 3-5 minutes. Let cool 5 - 10 minutes before eating, the filling will be VERY hot. I like to dip them in the leftover pizza sauce, but it's gotta be warmed.