HAPPY NEW YEAR.. baby!

Well, it’s a DIY with my husband ! Here’s a pregnancy update ~ We are at 30 weeks on New Years! Holy cow, heh?

Trimester three is going swimmingly (see posts of me eating chocolate and baked goods, finally!) I’m about to start behaving now that the holiday is over. Back to daily either ~ walking, prenatal yoga or swimming. Anywho.. it’s hard to take a flattering photo at this stage so here you go. Professional photos are booked in another month! My husband took me out to a fancy dinner ~I got to wear a fascinator I’ve been dying to wear for a while ~ and got lots of compliments on it ~  OMG truffle oil shoestring fries, wild mushroom soup and beet, goat cheese, pear and pecan salad. YUM.

My sweety has been taking VERY good care of me. xo

 HAPPY HOLIDAYS.  What did you make this holiday?

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Turtles Cupcakes!

Today I made some Nestle turtle chocolate cupcakes. Basically, you bake chocolate cupcakes half way then place a turtle chocolate on them, with more cupcake mixture, and put it back in for another 10 minutes. The recipe is below. If you look at the photo  you can see that I left them in a little too long (we have a brand spankin’ new oven and all appliances.. thanks daddsy! ~and even though i put it on 15 degrees less than the recipe said- it cooked very quickly). So the photo at bottom is the halfway point. They were naughty and decent, not incredible. Husband review? “they would have been better heated up so they’d be gooey. (recipe actually says to do that) But they were cupcakes with turtles in them.. c’mooon!” IMG_3998

 

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click here for the Nestle Turtles Cupcakes recipe!

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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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Bake Sale!

HAPPY NEW YEAR to all my lovely blog readers! I made a ton of stuff in the last 2 weeks but as many of your lives were.. mine was also busy. Here’s a recap of the seemingly large bake sale we hosted over Xmas.   We didn’t actually attend any and don’t have any kids ~ it was an intimate gathering of west coast family of 3 & several animals ~full of maple butter stuffed turkey (30lbs!) and cashew apple dressing. My husband is a rock star chef and I stepped up to the plate with several baking experiments. Here’s a sampling:  Chocolate coffee and bacon cupcakes (type that into the search for the recipe on this blog this past year). My sweety made enough sugar and cream cheese cookies for an elementary school which we lovingly decorated like school kids ~ while listening to many xmas vinyl’s ~2 shown below. We would have eaten these two cats because they were such bad kitties this holiday but they were too adorable at photo opps. I made Haystacks ( I renamed Beaver dams) in both butterscotch and also mint and chocolate ~both with peanut butter and chow mein noodles (recipe from Nana on this blog). Not shown but previously blogged were peanut butter balls ~ they were my fav and went first ~ my husband’s ginger bread cookies & turkey dog bones. Hope I didn’t forget anything. winks*

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fish heads, croquettes & a mounted salmon

The pets & I spent a lovely, stormy but warm-by-the-woodstove kind of day yesterday ~with my dad in our Quadra kitchen!  We laboured for many hours and created 5 dozen deep fried Greek Christmas ling cod & snapper Croquettes! YUM! He had put a sticky note in the bottom of a returned, clean pyrex with his mailing address for refills. Dad arrived with Xmas cheer and the rest of the ingredients. We mastered the recipe yet again! See my BLOG OCT. 22, 2011 ~ for complete photos & how to make. Thanks Dad & Abby for a lovely day.  This being a very FISHMAS week for him… what with being Xmas Mounted Salmon punked, see BLOG entry this week for more festive details.

My creative photography share today is also about our stinky friends. This time from Chinatown, Vancouver.

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Snapper snowflakes… for dogs

That’s right.. another excuse to make dogbones for my dog…  Xmas party season.

Last Xmas my practice co-horts raved about the dogbones I baked and gave out at potlucks. So this year when asked, it was easy to oblige, as every day with our aged pup is a chance to spoil him. He was such a big helper standing over me in the kitchen for 2 hours! Here’s something that I learned that made my life much easier. The last time I made turkey dogbones (see previous blog entries) I froze three big balls of batter in ziplocs. I simply opened the wedding freezers and found 4 balls ~2 were the snapper  and 2 were turkey. I thawed, rolled, cookie cut & baked them up in no time. The snapper recipe was a little lack luster so I added peanut butter and garlic salt. Sounds gross but dogs love the ingredients.   

This year I went the silly extra step of putting them in little santa bags with bows. And yes, Amos taste tested each batch and got all the ends, saved in a jar on the counter (which already requires refilling).

Happy Christmas to the mutts that make us so happy all year. 

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cheesey Pointsettias

IMPERIAL CHEESE CRISPS

((THANXS to my awesome mother in law ~Barb for the recipe))

1 carton Imperial Cheese

1 cup flour

½ cup butter

1 ½ cups Rice Krispies

 Blend cheese & butter, add flour and Rice Krispies. Spoon onto greased cookie sheet, push down with fork.

 375 deg for 8-10 min.

These bad boys were super easy and quick to make. “pleasing sharpness & crunch!” is the husband review. And that man loves him a cookie.

 SIDENOTE: Living on Quadra I bitch and grind my teeth when food shopping. 2 batches of these cost $20. The imperial cheese container was $7 and the Krispies small box was $6. CRAZY. Forget shopping local when it comes to Xmas baking, is what I’m learning this year..sorry community..I’m a Costco convert.

And speaking of Poinsettias  (workshopping that segway)…     I had every intention of spending more money than I should at a bead & gem openhouse Friday (after my awesome Friday night date… With my Dad! Thanxs again dad xo). But try as I did for 40 mins, I couldn’t find the party. Lol. Funny when that happens, heh? As I came close to losing my shit, I 911 called my husband. He simply said “baby…you go get yourself a pointsettia”. So I did. And it’s pretty. It’s my very first one as an adult, actually. This holiday season is really shaping up.

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SomeWIKI  facts about this lovely plant:      The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico, where legend tells of a young girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus‘ birthday. The tale goes that the child was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson “blossoms” sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias.[7] From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations.[8] The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrificethrough the crucifixion of Jesus.[9]The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico, where legend tells of a young girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus‘ birthday. The tale goes that the child was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson “blossoms” sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias.[7] From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations.[8] The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrificethrough the crucifixion of Jesus.[9]The plant’s association with Christmas began in 16th century Mexico, where legend tells of a young girl who was too poor to provide a gift for the celebration of Jesus‘ birthday. The tale goes that the child was inspired by an angel to gather weeds from the roadside and place them in front of the church altar. Crimson “blossoms” sprouted from the weeds and became beautiful poinsettias.[7] From the 17th century, Franciscan friars in Mexico included the plants in their Christmas celebrations.[8] The star-shaped leaf pattern is said to symbolize the Star of Bethlehem, and the red color represents the blood sacrificethrough the crucifixion of Jesus.[9]

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Deck the Balls with Peanut Butter

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20111203-094607.jpg As a kid, my mom used make loads of Xmas goodies. Possibly my fav was Peanut Butter Balls. She even mailed them to University or they were frozen waiting for my visits. These gooey, crispy, balls of joy are a non-bake, coconut coated, idiot proof recipe ~ that as long as I stay away from the chili powder & hot sauce… I’ll ace. So today, I honoured my mom, by using her recipe properly & made 4 batches of kick ass balls, for dessert, Xmas parties & freezing. The last batch I DID alter, by adding nutella. My husband was a “big helper” on the ball making committee. Did that come out wrong? Lol!
What’s your fav Christmas family goodie or memory? Tell us in the comment section! Happy almost holidays.
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Shortbread short listed

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I’m a total farm fresh egg snob now. We love eggs from the neighborhood! This week I was a bit “make” lazy but part of any creative process is purging, organizing, planning. I cleaned out (unpacked from our last move, actually) the recipe file box. I threw out a bunch of hand me downs I’ll never make & honoured some handwritten family & friends recipes by protecting them in ziplocs & filed everything in the kitchen. I made a “to make” pile, all of which my sweety is also excited about. We also have as winter goals 1) learn how to & make Sushi. 2) eat more salmon from the freezer, in creative ways. I’m still in crockpot heaven… Got any crockpot fav recipes or websites for me? I’ll post what I make. Here’s the short list for Xmas baking! Im sure dogbones will also be on the list (for Amos & to take to xmas work potlucks). I’ve never as a grown up, actually made anything for Xmas!

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20111114-150147.jpg Blanche’s Shortbread, Nana’s haystacks & mom’s peanut butter balls. Classics. What are you baking this Xmas? Please share a recipe in my comments?
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How to stuff a dog… With turkey

Sunny but stormy calls for indoor recess baking. What to make today? Turkey, carrot, roasted garlic dogbones. Yum! I froze all the would-be gravy and bits of skin and innards from our recent feast.

20111111-150027.jpg ingredients: turkey skin, giblets, turkey pieces (left after boiling bones for stock), fat, would-be gravy liquids~ food processed, carrots & roasted garlic & parsley ~ food processed, baking powder & soda, whole wheat flower, oats, farm eggs, love.

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20111111-150700.jpg I made two baking sheets of cookies & froze them. Left a glass jar of them on the counter for current treats. I froze two ziplocs of dough balls for the baking at another date (or to make as Xmas presents). Then I…

20111111-150829.jpg made a turkey loaf for the dog. All the same ingredients, baked for an hour. It turned out amazing and the house smells delicious. The loaf is twice the size shown in photo. First impression from eager dog Amos? He almost bit my fingers off.
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one glass makes an average amount of freckles

38 Inspiring Objects

2. Freckle Juice.

The book by Judy Blume. What can I say? It may shock you how many copies of this book that I received, as a child for birthdays. Or maybe it wouldn’t. I AM a redhead, after all. I reread it this morning. Really formative-years, creative stuff. I wrote (and won) every elementary school speech ~on my freckles and red head hair. I was made fun of and my parents tried to use them to make me stronger and it did, in the end build my self image to the amazing place that it is today..barf. More importantly, the book reminded me of how Martha Dundas & I made baby powder & street mud cakes in my Betty Crocker oven, as infants, in her basement. I think it was taken away shortly after but my need to create my own recipes (or not follow them properly) still inspires my creativity today. and PS. DAD~ the freckles did not go away in high school, like you promised.

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Snapper time

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26 degrees out so I decide to bake! Amos has what we think is a summer cold so I want to encourage his eating. So I made his fav. This time I baked a couple batches and froze the rest in little dough balls to roll out and bake as needed.
Ingredients: local snapper purée ~caught by my hunky fisherman husband. Neighbor eggs, milk, butter, local organic giant garlic head, fresh parsley bundle, 10 carrots, baking powder & soda, oats, flour, love.
PS. I also busted the hand mixer thing that Corey bought me because I busted his blender making halibut dogbones.

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you big taRt

 

That’s “TaRt” with a Canadian east coast hard R, that I love so much. Tonight my gorgeous new husband was a huge help with my thing-a-day. Thanxs to him for making the tart crusts, poring my wine & keeping me motivated. We made two kinds of tarts from my new tart recipe book. First was a Thai smoked salmon and dill tart and the second was a left-over chocolate fondue / toblerone ganache tart with a cocoa shell. The salmon tarts we devoured in seconds *yum* and the chocolate fondue one is cooling in the fridge. They will be a late night snack… or breakfast. We both promise to start working out tomorrow. I’m really getting into the hang of this making a  thing a day (holding tummy).

 

 

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New Years baking… Halibut dogbones

These were made with love for Amos at New Years. He gave away most of his last batch so he helped me rotate out the bottom of the freezer fish. Corey helped make the purees ~ straight baked halibut from Klemtu BC ~ carrots, garlic and my summer greenhouse parsley plant ~ flour, sea salt, veg soup cubes, powder.

I was surprised the cats didn’t love them because Corey came close to biting one. I cut the strips into cubes and have a winter supply for my happy dog.

Happy Crafty New Year
MAKE SOMETHING EVERY DAY!

Xmas potluck times

 

The potluck Xmas season is officially open. Starting at work (for those of us that haven’t already done five daycare ones, Aren!) this week was the potluck for our mens group & their families. It consisted of all the lovely cheese and bread and fried foods and sugar goodies, that I don’t currently eat or bake.
So this year, I made what I do best. Dogbones. I stood at the door as they filed out and handed out ziplocs of organic turkey & carrot dogbones cut into candy canes, gingerbread men & stars. And yes Corey, I had a few cubes of cheese and a chicken wing!

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not as good as Kate’s but okay ~ cornbread

Rocking the gluten-free diet, mostly. These were not bad. And it was the first time perhaps in my grown up life that I have used a muffin tray for it’s intended purpose. I’ve used them (no, not THIS one Corey) for paints, paper mache mixing, oysters on BBQ etc.. So this was a pleasant change. I prefer Kate’s home-made ones with the little happy corn bits in them, but these did nicely with our mounting supply of frozen home-made soups.  We need a full-size freezer stat. Turkey Veg on the woodstove, as I type this. The weather outside is TOTALLY made for soup & snuggles only.

the baking of dogbones.. or How much I love my dog.

tandoori smoked salmon dog bones

Snapper and parsley dogbones

here's what a snapper looks like! Caught in Klemtu, BC this spring. The model is pretty cute as well.

Kate asked about my dog bone recipes. The new addition to the Turner clan is a real sweetheart. Abby. See photo below.

I have no recipe per say.. everything is human edible and organic as much as possible. I  like the idea of buying food locally, so always get eggs up the street etc or stuff from my garden.

Ingredients are as follows:

-fish (I use whatever is on rotation for going bad in freezer. Corey catches it while in camp, up north. Smoked salmon or Snapper or  pink salmon etc.. next ones are going to be Halibut..so stay tuned in September!).

-2 eggs

-organic whole wheat flour

-non fat milk (tiny bit if too dry)

-fresh herbs: PARSLEY… like handfuls for sure for their breathe.

-garlic. Lots. Good for dogs & they LOVE it. See Parsley.

-organic carrots usually for a veg

-baking powder or soda..honestly i never remember which does what, but you probably know.

I use the fish as the liquid to add to the dry. I tend to break a blender while mixing  the fish,  it’s juice, the carrots, garlic and parsley. (See new Slap Chop Posting).

Add liquid to dry, mix, add love.

Pam a baking sheet. Find the coolest cutters you can. my dinosaur cutters are the best! (I also use them for fried eggs). Roll out your dough. I usually freeze half, as I always make too much to bake in an evening. Cut your cookies.

I bake them at 405 for less than 20 mins (flipping half way), until brown. Don’t overcook or they are too chewy… though Amos has never once complained.

Feedback from dogfolk that I usually give frozen ziplocs of dogbones too? “it’s like crack for my dog” “very rich”.

They last a week in a glass jar before molding.

((I’m sure I’ve missed something in the recipe but I’ll thank Kate for making me post / write my first recipe ever..and it was for Amos..xo)).

Abby. The Turner's new addition.

who broke 2 blenders in the last year?

today I got 2 new toys at the dreaded but ever so cheap Walmart.

In terms of creativity, lately I’ve been.. wait for it.. COOKING. Even a baking urge now and then. This gardening thing is making it’s way into the kitchen. So, Corey makes Greens Plus smoothies for us EVERY morning – banana, yogurt, greens +, at least two kinds of berries, fruit etc.. and I get a bendy straw. He’s a pretty easy going guy but the second time I busted the blender – blending  Snapper carcuses for dog bone baking.. (recipes to come Kate).. that was it! Blender rights revoked, I got us a slap chop yesterday, as I’ve been craving my hummus for weeks.

A Slap Chop & a hot glue gun.

Let the Games begin!

this video is pretty classy.

What to make today?