My Husband is a Tart

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No, he’s not really. But it sounds catchier than “my husband makes amazing chicken pot pie”. Smerk*. I mentioned to my husband a week ago that my current pregnancy craving was for chicken pot pie – home style comfort food. A couple days later, I came home from work and he had baked a dozen giant ones from scratch! So sweet, heh? His first crust was too pie like (tho lovely + buttery), so we cheated and got tender flake mini pie crusts, to use up the rest of the filling last night. I think I ate 7 of them. Don’t judge me… I’m pregnant. I love you baby and baby.
Care for the recipe? Comment below and I’ll ask the chef.
House Reno “make” “DIY” updates to come this week. We’ve been busy!
Make Something Every Day

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Homemade Blackberry Fruit Roll Ups !

“Are you gunna make fruit roll ups today”? Nope, that is not a four year old. That was my husband bugging me for the last few days. So yes. Today I took my first shot at home made blackberry fruit roll ups, in our new dehydrator (see bottom).

And here’s how we did it.
1. Pick a big freezer bag size of local blackberries from all your neighbour’s bushes. Prime time= end of August.
2. Clean and dry.


3. Make an apple sauce in blender just in case whatever kind of berry you choose needs thickening. Use the fruit bowl apples you hoped said husband would take for lunches but never does.


4. Put bag of blackberries in blender on low til they produce a somewhat thick syrup. Use juice if needed to get the blender goin’. Yum.


5. Mix apple w blackberries.


6. Pam spray roll up flat inserts. We did three.


7. Pour mixture on evenly. Lick spatula.


8. Turn dehydrator on to 130-140 degrees for 4-8 hrs.


9. Take out when leathery dry.
10. Cut to size. Roll. Store individually in seran and store in a Ziploc in freezer. They come out looking like photo #7.

38 Inspiring Objects

#10  the New Lee Valley Dehydrator.

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Our Day in Local Produce

Although we can’t wait to move off this overpriced tourist destination of an island, I have to say in the summer there is something to be said for leading a lifestyle based on the 100 mile diet ~ if you can. Yesterday Corey forced me off the couch to go blackberry picking, again. It’s an annual tradition with us, one that we swore we’d take more seriously this season. It’s a dangerous but yummy sport. Full chain metal clothing required. Three afternoons have been spent so far with a few more to go. What are we using them for? Our morning smoothies, beer & wine making, fruit roll ups, desserts.. you name it. I’m considering writing a therapy article entitled something like “The Couple that Picks Berries Together, Stays Together“. What do you think?

After berry picking we head to Fox road to our favourite EGG guy. I also buy handmade croched face and kitchen cloths from his daughter. Both items are found with an honour system for cash trade in this adorable fridge at the end of their farm driveway. The cat in the egg photo is a curious Salal (our cat).

   

As we drove back down the road we spot this… (dad will surely comment on the budweiser flat)

Further around the corner we see two red coolers with a “VEGGIES” sign. We stop and again on the honour system purchase these yellow beans and 6 hot peppers. What a hoot. Total spent for local produce in one afternoon? $6.50.Now I’d love to be one of those righteous “organic” (said with nose in the air) people that we are about to surround ourselves with on our next move in two weeks.. SEE BLOG TOMORROW ! but the truth is ~ from there we went and purchased a $30 pizza. Yes, that’s what I said. A $30 pizza at the only place on the island to get take out pizza. lol. And it was good. We finished our pizza and bottled a pinot grigio wine, in our rental bathroom for the last time. Quadra Island your days are numbered.

Zuke’s  and beans for dinner tonight, my creative blogger friends. Do you shop locally? Organically? I will be harvesting the garden & plum, apple trees and dehydrating herbs ~basil, mint and cat mint and cherry and roma tomatoes from the topsy turvy experiment in the next 2 weeks so stay tuned… And thanxs for staying with me.  xo. 

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Gourmet Pesto Quinoa stuffed chicken breasts!

 oh Julia!
Yet another reason for YouTube~ to learn how to stuff a chicken breast. I had no idea. The above was entertaining & Julia is lovely as always but below is really helpful. Especially about putting the breast in a ziploc before pounding it! Smart. 

And what is the husband and father review? 

not the prettiest after photo, but you get the idea.

Recipe came from this awesome quinoa book.

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adventures of my green thumbs begins.

I’m learning how to garden! I know, exciting right? Living in this glorious retreat ~ and by glorious I mean a whole lotta “free” work on our end while paying someone else’s mortgage… Anywho.. the gardens are spectacular, at last!  I’ve been weeding and cutting flowers for vases for both my therapy offices and for both bathrooms and the kitchen, in the house. Awesome. So I have spent some time photographing the progress and I thought i’d start sharing photos of new finds, researching what they are and anything interesting about them, how to close down stuff as it dies (we had this overwhelming daffodil bed by the front door that I discovered I was supposed to trim after it died off.. leading me to wonder.. do I have to remove the greens from all bulbous plants after they kick it? I dunno). *** see middle photo with the ends of the poppies. Do I dry them out in a paper bag all winter and plant that? or is it just the little dry purple hairs that I plant?*** THIS IS WHERE THE PARTICIPATION FROM YOU BLOG FRIENDS, READING THIS ~ COMES IN! Please comment below or send me a link? danke.*

I just like the colours and smells and the ambiance they bring our summer life now. lol. So I’m learning and thought you might like to witness my learning and contribute  a thing or three for my learning? oui? Let’s begin our adventure of my green thumbs together.

This weeks’ fav flower is the peone. Have you smelt a peone lately? Oh man. This is the flower to put in the bathroom that really makes a difference after the mano f the house does his morning business. And what a great name. Did I even spell it correctly? Also pictured here is my new fav summer drink The Orchard peach Cider. yum. And I managed a craft placement of my fish ice cubes! As well, my arms took a serious beating when I tried to pick the pretty pink roses that have sprouted up everywhere! eek.

More on roses another time, there’s several species here.

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Wrap me in bacon. And by that I mean ~ wrap bacon around everything*

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These were my contribution to dinner tonight. My sweets was out fishing today. So after I got more than enough sun, and by sun I mean haze and humid, not direct sun! ~I came in and prepped a side dish. He was kayak fishing on the ocean so I didn’t want to offend and make a meat dish in case the catch of the day was halibut! Bacon. Just the word posted beside the word halibut makes me want to try that now too. I used the crockpot and recipe book (wow, I’ve come so far in one year, eh?) to cut down on the fat quota but don’t worry these little bad boys were as bad for us as they were delicious. My husband was very pleased, indeed. No fish brought home, though many caught and cool go pro videos to go with them. He bbq’d ribs. oh my. Team work.

PS. on the bacon theme ~ said gorgous and sweet-toothed husband has a crush on the toffee lady at the Saturday Farmers market, here on Quadra Island. Oh yes, he does. She makes organic chocolates, truffles, toffees. Today he bought 3 bags of naughty. Bacon toffee & almond bark. He always buys the bacon toffee. Today she actually warned him to “take care of your teeth!”. Which I thought was cool. Perhaps she could give away toothbrushes too? No bacon shame.

cabin fever ~ soup & dried fruits

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It was a long month of March with several power outages and massive storms ~cabin fever was a very real threat for me several times.

With beachcombing being at an all time yearly low ~lots of soup was  prepared and consumed and the dehydrator was running for the last week. I bought giant bags of pears and kiwis (@ Costco Courtenay) and stored them for our lunch snacks. Can you say “nesting?” My Roasted red pepper soup was decent but the husband thought a bit too spicy for diving days. Recipe above. I got out of the habit of photographing stuff as end product but I’m back on track now. yum.  

Thanks for staying with me bloggers. Any suggestions as to how to get more interactive with you all?

I’d love more comments or suggestions..?

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oh how I’ve missed you blog

Well here we meet again blog friends.. me by the woodstove with the winds howling and once again impending doom of power outage hangs over us. I’m solo, with my man at work today and possibly not even home tonight if the 80km wind gusts keep up ~ there will be no ferry home. Fingers crossed for spoons tonight with my man!    It’s been an eventful and somewhat creative while since we’ve spoken. I considered doing a V-log today but you have to pay to post videos on wordpress.com unless they are uploaded to youtube first. I digress ~ here’s what I’ve been up to.

We have been enjoying my record a day BLOG project which is now in month FOUR or twelve! It has been the soundtrack to many creative festivities around the pad, including baking. Here we baked more Theryaki smoked salmon tarts with Mr. Music maker’s help! And a one and a two and a … 

The record blog has been getting a great response and has a ton of followers. What a riot going through all different genres and styles. There’s a really romantic slowness to the vinyl process. The stink of the cover albums, the inserts, the album art. Deciding to get up to flip over to Side B. All great.

Check it out if you wish ~ just for the records BLOG 365 project

 I also made a another batch of peanut butter balls ~see my blog here for the recipe near xmas.

We had an awesome visit from my in~laws recently. Thankfully the weather was excellent FINALLY and we spent some time down at the beach. We gathered oysters and clams and then were told we couldn’t take them home (by a strange fella on the shore with no evidence but a fantastic story of  a shipping container that flipped over in the ocean and some chemicals released into the local waters).

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the screamin heebie jeebies & wild rose hips

Nothing brings newly weds together quite like both being sick at the same time. Neither of us have even been sick since we met (2.5 years ish ago) so this week was an extra special one. We are on day 4 of cold & flu ~he missed work for 3 days, I missed my 4 day weekend. But we are on the mend. Cabin fever has for sure set in, especially for our dog. It gives me a day on the couch under several variations of blanket, to update my 365 blogs! The record blog is getting a great response and I am loving all the music and research that goes with the posts. If you haven’t been over there it’s just for the records ~another 365 project BLOG click on this coloured link.

For today, here’s a running photography commentary of a few of the things I’ve been making this week:

            

rose hips / rose hip tea

These are the rose hips I picked at our place in the fall, dried out and made tea with last week. This week we drank jars of it for the Vit C!!

 the chick is annoying but there are great facts about rose hips in this video.

   We bottled wine & beer but have been too sick to really try either of them! I got my sweety grolsch style glass bottles with ceramic tops on Craigslist via a German brewery.

we bottled homebrew Pinot Grigos ~yum & my sweety's first crack at a honey ale with homepicked blackberries!

         

thai smoked salmon, pesto pinwheels

 

     

grew some cat-grass (xmas gift from dad) & Estevan went a bit psycho

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

xmas leftover turkey loaf for Amos dog

 

froze half ~used gravy, skin & giblet bits & a regular dogbone recipe

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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the christmas whale… ho.

BEST xmas card EVER

This photo goes with the above best ever xmas card by my friend Tigger's child. So awesome.

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jerk turkey

Jen’s famous Turkey Jerky appeared after 2 days of processing leftovers from our giant, delicious and generously donated (thanks Dad) Xmas turkey! I almost over dehydrated it again but the husband’s review suggests that I “aced” it. 

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The traditional Christmas eve moose.

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A few dozen sugar cookies were decorated tonight! Wine & Christmas carols on the record player.. Such wholesome fun! We prepped dinner for tomorrow & made other goodies, with details to follow tomorrow. For now, we must go to sleep so that Santa will come (in this scary coastal windstorm)! Happy Christmas eve my little crafty elves!
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Ho! Ho! Ho!

Sexy meatloaf photography

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Don’t tell anyone ~ feminists make meatloaf. It’s true. Here’s the evidence. Yesterday, while my sweety was off- island, I wore my wedding gift, Martha Stewart apron & made a meatloaf. Several actually. Not only did I attempt to follow a recipe & make meatloaf for the first time in my adult life… But it was a recipe FROM a Martha Stewart magazine! Ps. The magazine selection @ the ferry terminal sucks! To be fair to myself, I only got excited because the recipe makes them in the cupcake pan! Here’s the recipe & my attempts to make photographing meatloaf.. Sexy.
Funny how the magazine recipe Photo doesn’t show the leakage mess.

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20111203-093530.jpg Review?: “fun shape, mostly good but needed TUMS.”
I went for the Mexican version, adding organic pineapple salsa & chilli powder to the top thumbprint. But as usual, I made them waaaaay too hot. So I added sour cream to serve, with little tomatoes & mint leaves. Instead of cheese whizz (Jeez), I used real shredded cheddar & nutty whole grain bread instead of boxed stuffing (or is it called “dressing”… Corey?).
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Nothing says Canadian Christmas quite like Moose… gingerbread cookies

Technically my husband baked these yesterday but he said that I was “his best big helper”, so that counts as a “make”, non? We decided to bake treats this Xmas (for my first time ever ~ hello feminism, take a breather this month) & we kicked off the mission on Johnny Cash Sunday by baking Big Soft Ginger Cookies. click here for recipe. yum.  Rated 5 stars, with 3000 positive reviews, my creative, hunk of a husband chose this recipe. I essentially, was on the photography, sampling & decorating committees. Photos of fully sprinkled, decked out cookies not available. Reason? We ate ’em.

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Return of the Thai Smoked Salmon tart!!!

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I love it when I make something so good that it’s requested again & actually turns out JUST as good! Yesterday’s Thai Smoked Salmon Tarts rocked! See recipe below & awesome cookbook ( hi AREN! ) corey made the crust because he’s hip that way. We froze a few. We devoured the rest with awesome company that were stranded after their hunting trip ~on our island because no ferries ran, in the horrific weather. And yes Dad, we saved you two.. Or one.

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Trick or treat

20111031-214339.jpg Yum! Pumpkin seeds were roasted then broiled tonight with butter and seasoning salt. As if we were hungry after a day of cooking Thanksgiving #2!? C & I whipped up a turkey, apple & cashew stuffing and mashed potatoes, between shifts of Maple leaf raking (uggggg) & bonfiring them.
We didn’t get a single trick or treater but we were prepared with candy, rented a horror movie, had a huge fire & set up our carvings at the end of the long rural drive way. Yeah us.

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Tomatoe sauce with beef, peppers, spicy Italian sausage & greenhouse herbs

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We had an amazing super hot labour day weekend ~Saturday. Coffee in bed, 2.5 hours tennis doubles, I entered an art assemblage piece in the fall fair (details tomorrow), then spent the aft drinking lime beer on a 2 person air mattress, on the ocean.
Tonight we made a huge crockpot of tomatoe sauce for freezing! We had 2 flats of tomatoes from Costco & I picked herbs from my greenhouse. Ingredients: spicy Italian sausage, ground beef, tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, green onions, greenhouse basil and parsley, green peppers & garlic. The cabin smells amazing as it simmers. Below are the herbs cut up. Now to apply aloe to my sunburns!

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What? Make bread in a crockpot?

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Today was a low fi house day, humid with relatively no sun. As good a day as any for some crockpot experiments. Using my trusty crockpot book, I found a cornbread bean recipe. What? Make bread in a crockpot? For goodness sakes, I don’t even know how to make it in the oven. I substituted taco seasoned ground beef for the base (instead of the bean recipe it called for). Cooked the meaty underbits first, put them in the crockpot, covered with the cornbread mixture and set for High at 2 hours.
Results? Well I’ll be. We thought it tasted great. “a corny twist on shepherds pie ~ beefy & good” is the review from my audience.
It was a bit dry so my sweety added some of what i call my “fail salsa” from last year. If I made it again I’d double the taco seasoning in the meat, add shredded cheddar between the layers and on top and some more red sauce.
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just beet it.

(photo cred: C.Myers)

There was an incident this week in the beds that line the outside of the wee greenhouse. Needless to say ~ this is the ONE beet for this year. Ain’t she a beaut?

PS. Yes, we have mister and misses potatoe heads and we don’t have kids. 

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what’s better than chocolate and bacon and coffee? Having them all together.

Dark Chocolate Bacon Cupcakes

“Dark Chocolate. Bacon. What’s not to love? Take yourself on a taste adventure and give these a go. They were a challenge by friends that turned into a great success. “

Prep Time: 15 Min Cook Time: 25 Mins. Ready In: 40 Min

Original Recipe Yield 2 dozen cupcakes

Ingredients
  • 12 slices bacon
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup cold, strong, brewed coffee
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder, for dusting
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium-high heat until evenly brown. Drain, crumble and set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, 3/4 cup cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Make a well in the center and pour in the eggs, coffee, buttermilk and oil. Stir just until blended. Mix in 3/4 of the bacon, reserving the rest for garnish. Spoon the batter into the prepared cups, dividing evenly.
  3. Bake in the preheated oven until the tops spring back when lightly pressed, 20 to 25 minutes. Cool in the pan set over a wire rack. When cool, arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter. Frost with your favorite chocolate frosting and sprinkle reserved bacon crumbles on top. Dust with additional cocoa powder.
THE REVIEWS: We made these beauties ( thanks Kate for the recipe!) last week. We used maple bacon and espresso instead of coffee ~as per advice from allrecipes.ca. Jen took some to work and we took some up the lake with the Milsoms. One review was a spontaneous hug from a twelve year old boy. Husband: “it’s everything I like, all together. I love it”. These were super fantastic and I’d make them again for sure.

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Fluffy, non. Tasty, Yes.

delicious Quadra (island Winery) red wine!

Souffle fail. My first Souffle and I made it on Snapper (though recipe calls for Salmon). It didn’t rise and looked like mayonaisse baked on fish. Fluffy, non. Tasty, Yes. 

Costco score ~ these beans rehydrated in the wedding crockpot were pretty great though.

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Beet & nutella cake

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It’s a lovely July Monday so I figured “why not bake a beet cake today?”. A totally gorgeous video was passed on to me by my lovely which inspired today’s Make Something Every Day. I’ve been a little remiss in postings but I assure you’ve I’ve got tons of Makes to post. My goal this week will be to empty my iPhoto onto my Blog so stay tuned…

http://click here for beet cake recipe

Scroll down to beet cake for recipe. a great use of jars of pickled beets ( my FAV food!).

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cooking baking brewing roasting breakfasting

Halibut dog bones

delicious first attempt! Photo of the expert puree'er.

caribbean chicken stew in the house white wine

my very FIRST roast! Wedding crockpot adventures continue!

breakfast in bed from my love.. where shall we go today?

It was a rainy month and lots was produced in the Quadra cabin. The above are just a few “makes” that I thought to take photos of.  We also started Mexican Lime beer and a summer house Pinto Grigos, in our basement that now smells like a hobo. Those photos were less flattering. lol.

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Salmon for pets!

We had some salmon left in our freezer from our house/ pet sitters, when we went to Mexico (for our wedding!). I intended to make salmon & also turkey jerky in the new dehydrator today but the turkey wasn’t thawed in time & the salmon, when thawed, turned out to be too tiny! So…. Once again 2 lucky cats & a happy doggie scored salmon treats! What a lovely Johnny Cash Day slash indoor monsoon day, spent with my new husband.
Turkey jerky tomorrow so stay tuned folks.
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hi fi revisited

Today I tried something I’ve wanted to do for a long time.. bake some records.  There’s lots of videos on youtube about baking your lp’s as a form upcycling to make new products. Super cool. This was my first attempt and the results were medium but now that I know how to do it I can consider embelishments, bobbles, rub on signage etc. I learned for sure not to bake it on tinfoill on the  baking sheet as it sticks. I have about 6 other ideas to make with lp’s for other days like book ends & ironing it make / sew bags. Also the lp covers are great for making journal front and back covers. What do you think / suggest?

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