Sunday, July 31, 2011
I just chopped off my hair.
I'm kind of in shock, because I love my long hair.
However, I didn't just chop it off and throw it in the garbage... It is in a ponytail, In a bubblewrap-envelope, waiting to be Mailed.... Waiting to become part of a wig for a woman fighting Cancer.
I am making my donation in honor of both of my grandmothers.
One, is fighting a losing battle with Lung Cancer... one she won't win. (She isn't healthy enough to go through Chemo). But her strength and Optimisim through all of this, is amazing. And it inspires me every single day.
My other grandma, is a Two-Time Cancer survivor. Most recently, she beat Breast Cancer. And her wig is what helped her continue living a normal life outside of the house. When you have a wig, nobody really looks at you with sad "cancer" eyes. They look at you like you look a little pale, and maybe should get some more Vitamin D from the sun... not like you are a dead-woman walking. (and these are pretty much direct quotes from my grandma).
So my pony tail is no longer attached to my head. Its sitting in an envelope, and my neck feels naked and exposed.
So If you have 8 inches, or more of hair to spare... chop it off, and mail it to a Cancer-wig donation place.
This pony tail is going to the Pantene Beautiful Lengths Program (in canada)
The last time I donated a pony tail (shortly after my grandma was diagnosed with Breast Cancer), I donated to Locks of Love.
Ps... I promise to have some recipes again soon, I'm just getting my butt in gear, its been a crazy few weeks.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Playing on the beach with my Fam <3
Another DB Challenge done/Boyfriend's Birthday Cake
Getting Strawberries Drunk
Family Reunion... Me and my grandma <3
Playing on the beach!
FINALLY seeing a photo of my great great grandma.
Cleaning our bedroom carpet!
Cuddles with Wilson:
Trail Riding in the Sunshine!
Cuddles with Ava after hiking up a huge hill:
Enjoying the Tall grass in the Morning sun <3
Eating our lunch outside with our Dogs (this is Ava's friend Maya)
The Smell of Clover in the air
Fresh-cut rows of Hay
Suffering Through Canola Pollen Allergies (but makes a pretty picture)
Realizing how much Ava's grown in the last 6 months: (where did my puppy go?)
Completely Inspired by Tracey of Shutterbean.com
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Blog-checking lines: Jana of Cherry Tea Cakes was our July Daring Bakers’ host and she challenged us to make Fresh Fraisiers inspired by recipes written by Elisabeth M. Prueitt and Chad Robertson in the beautiful cookbook Tartine.
SIDE NOTE: I am trying to be more thoughtful (I don't know if that is really the word I'm going for, but it is the only one that comes to mind right now) about my pictures. Instead of posting them straight off the memory card, I am going to try and edit them a little before I post them... Hopefully this will make a difference and challenge me a little more.
Whew, this was a fun challenge. With delicious results. Since it was the boyfriend's birthday on the 15th, I made this as his birthday cake. Killed 2 birds with one stone, so to speak. I made this on the Saturday (the 16th). I got to sleep in until 8, then started whipping up the Pastry cream, followed shortly by the Chiffon cake (which I love, and will for sure be making again). I followed all the directions closely with the Chiffon cake and didn't change a thing.
With the pastry cream though, I used the recipe over at The Joy of Baking. I didn't really like the idea of the gelatin recipe that came with the challenge, so I wanted something that wouldn't make me cringe with the thought of where gelatin comes from.
Inside, I used strawberries and blueberries... and on the very inside, I just used cut up strawberries and a handful of blueberries. I topped the cake with whipped cream and more strawberries and blueberries, and a few cherries.
I will be making this cake again, although I will probably make it smaller, and use whipped cream in the middle instead of pastry cream. I think the lightness of the whipped cream would suit my taste buds better.
I am really proud of my challenge this month, and can't wait for this post to be posted. Also, make sure you go over to the Daring Kitchen website and check out the other Daring Baker's Creations.
(OH, also, I don't really like Marzipan, so no Almond Paste top for this girl, although the pretty pink top would've been nice)
I would have loved to have used my own strawberries in the cake, But they aren't quite ripe... we do get one or two every few days though, but not enough of a crop at one time for this whole cake.
Saturday, July 16, 2011
I am also making Strawberry Infused Vodka... Will share that when it is ready... I can't WAIT to drink it... It's only been one day, but my cupboard already smells strawberry-y
Since my kitchen and I have reconsciled our differences... But all my current kitchen projects are not ready to be posted, I thought I would share some of my favourite things right now...
-Brown and blue colour combinations
-The smell of clover on a hot summer day
-Smelling wildflowers while riding in the field
-Summer Thunderstorms at night
-Joy the Baker Podcasts
-"Toes" by the Zac Brown Band (Knee deep too, but I like Toes better)
-Iced Capps from Tim Hortons
-Jumbo Mr. Freeze Freezies
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
I feel like I've abandoned my blog slightly. I've been all into the Joy the Baker Podcasts (go look them up, Joy and Tracy are HI-LARIOUS)
And work.... Work is crazy. I rode 5 horses today... Which 3 years ago, wouldn't have been any thing, but now, after so much time off trying to heal my stupid knee (and stupid foot.... and stupid shoulder... and that hairline fracture in my femur from the horse in England who kicked me.... and the cracked ribs that I didn't really know about until a few months later...)
I get home from riding 5 horses, and all the work I regularly do anyway, and all I want to do is go to bed. Some days I am too exhausted to even shower... but that is more of a "in a few short hours i'm going to shovelling poo again, and my sheets really need to be washed anyway, and omg the boyfriend smells bad after 12 hours of deck/fence building in the hot hot sun" kind of thing.
Plus, My dishes refuse to wash themselves and put themselves away.
Somedays I just walk right through the kitchen and tell them that I'm not talking to them... So there
Someone needs to get my dishes in line, they just arn't co-opperating with the crazy-ness of life right now.
If I'm not in the kitchen this weekend and sharing with you, I will for sure have my Daring Baker Challenge on the 27th for you... I'm pretty excited about doing this one... Sooooo Summer-y
Anyway... I'm sorry. I'll be back as soon as I can
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
WAY back in February, My friend Erin posted a recipe for Hot Crab and Artichoke Dip, and I have had it bookmarked since. Well, I have FINALLY bought all the ingredients for it today, after drooling over this recipe for the last (nearly) 6 months. But it got me thinking of another Dip I want to make too.
My friend Sophie makes an amazing Spinach Dip, and I have never been able to recreate it, and She will not share her recipe... It is kind of her trademark dish, So I don't really blame her. I guess I will just have to come up with my own Spinach Dip instead of trying to copy hers... Any Spinach Dip tips?
Anyway, lets get to it... I definitely recommend going over to Erin's blog, because she posts some amazing stuff...
Crab and Artichoke Dip
Adapted from: A Tale of One Foodies Culinary Adventures
4oz Cream Cheese
2 TBSP Chili Sauce (I used the Rooster Sauce)
1 TBSP Horseradish (prepared)
1/2 cup Plain Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Can of Artichoke hearts... drained and chopped
1 1/4 cup Crab meat (fresh or frozen)... (I ended up having to use Canned... Not being near the ocean means not a great supply of affordable fresh seafood... AND the frozen stuff was all still in legs, and I wouldn't bother shelling it just to put it into Dip)
1 Cup finely grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
Use a hand mixer to cream together the first 5 ingredients (add spices to your taste too... fresh garlic would be a good one... I forgot to buy some at the store though, and it tastes just fine without the garlic)
Once everything is smooth and well mixed (make sure you use a rubber spatula to pull down the sides, so everything gets mixed in), stir in the crab, and artichoke hearts.
Place the dip into a small baking dish (I used an 8" round casserole dish for this) that has been greased.
Cover the top with the grated cheese, and bake in the oven at 350 F for about half an hour. You want the cheese to start to brown a little, and everything to be a little bubbly.
Serve with Pita chips, Crackers, or Tortilla chips, and Enjoy!
Sorry the pictures are crappy (again)
Sunday, July 3, 2011
Hiking.... We actually didn't end up hiking. We didn't leave the house until about 11, and it is about an hour Drive out to K-country... And It is the long weekend, so we couldn't decide on a trail that wouldn't be packed with people, and that neither of us had Hiked before... So it was more of a road trip/sit at the beach.
BUT neither of us has been to Barrier Lake, just driven by it... So we stopped, found a chill beach spot away from the masses of people and let the dogs run around and play.
Just over that rock ridge on the left side of the pic, is a little inlet, and there were tons of people set up on the beach... Nobody climbed over the ridge to this beautiful peaceful area.
Alberta Oasis is the first thing that came to our mind when we were looking at our pics when we got home last night.
Wilson got hit in the head multiple times with bugs, but he kept going back for more. Nothing like the wind blowing through your ears. (I actually have video of him getting hit in the head with Bugs)
Ava thinks Road Trips are awesome!
This is part of Mount Kidd... Its a pretty awesome mountain. If you are in Alberta, in Kananaskis, go and stare at it for a while. Its gorgeous.
I know the water looks really nice, But it is FREAKIN' cold! And both of us are used to cold water... Usually your body adjusts to it pretty quick, and it doesn't seem so cold... But it just stayed cold. So no swimming for anyone,
Here is the Wikipedia info on Barrier Lake
SPANIKOPITA (as promised)
I didn't use a specific recipe, and I didn't write down what I made, So I'm going to send you to the YouTube videos I watched to get the idea for my spanikopita. I put mint in it from my garden, and I really wish I hadn't. But that is more of a taste preference than anything. Next time I make this (and it will be soon) I will probably just stick to Spinach and Feta... stick to the KISS rule (keep it simple stupid)
However you make this, It will probably be delicious! even with the mint in it, it was amazing.
Spanikopita YouTube Video #1
Spanikopita YouTube Video #2
Saturday, July 2, 2011
But I'm just going to get to the recipe and pictures (which are kind of craptacular) because we are leaving to go hiking in the mountains pretty soon here, and I don't have time to ramble on and on.
Blueberry Explosion Muffins
1 cup Blueberries
1 cup Sugar
2 cups All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Whole Wheat Flour (You could just sub in the All Purpose instead)
1 tsp. Salt
2 large eggs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup Coconut Oil
1 cup Buttermilk (You can use regular milk and add 1 TBSP of Lemon Juice or Vinegar and let it sit for about 5 minutes... Here is a great post on Buttermilk)
1 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
Can of Blueberry Pie Filling
In Large bowl, Whisk flour, baking powder and salt.
In another bowl, Whisk the sugar and eggs together until pale yellow and thick. Whisk in the butter and oil until combined. Add the buttermilk and Vanilla and whisk to incorporate fully.
Add the wet to the dry, along with the blueberries, and fold in until just moistened. Don't over mix... Lumpy batter is OK
Divide into prepared muffin tins. Put 1-2 TBSP of batter (depending on the size of your muffin tin/paper liners), Then about 1 TBSP of Pie Filling, Then 2-3 TBSP of batter.
Bake for about 20-25 minutes in 375 F oven. They are done when a toothpick inserted comes out clean. The edges will be a little golden and the tops will spring back a little when touched.
Let them cool a little in the muffin tin, and then transfer them to a wire rack to continue cooling.
I made little mini muffins with my left over batter... omitting the "explosion" part of the recipe.
Muffins like these have been sitting in my head, waiting for me to actually make them, and then another blog (and I totally spaced and didn't bookmark the blog) made blueberry muffins, and then I knew I had to make the muffins stuck in my head. Originally I had other pie fillings in mind, but they only had Blueberry and Mincemeat when I went shopping, and so Blueberry Explosion Muffins were born! You won't use the whole can of pie filling, I still have about half of it left, and I'm trying to figure out what to do with it... It will probably end up as more muffins
Happy Long weekend!!! I hope every one had a great Canada Day yesterday!