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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Who’se A Chubby Kitty?

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Well, I experimented with a second rescue remedy recipe for my cat Salal. Although he has perhaps doubled (?) his weight in a month ~ and for sure his energy and fiest has tripled.. I thought I’d vary up his diet and try this one. Again ~  easy to make  and he loves it. I promise to use cheaper chicken next time, babe.

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Kitty Does Have Nine Lives

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After our awesome, sweet heart of a dog passed on in May, I began to wonder if its best friend Salal ~was experiencing depression?  The grey, 11 year old cat from Haida Gwaii, lost his spunk & appetite in a matter of  3 weeks. Nothing we offered helped. I force fed him for weeks after our travelling vet told us it was renal (kidney) failure.  (which was not a joy for my husband or myself). He bit through endless syringes and turkey basters.  I was not giving up. Recently, we added the stress of moving to this list. The move went well. Plan B. We added a small dose of daily vallium to his routine. His appetite came back but he didn’t gain any weight. He also looked like a drunk at 2 am in his back legs, which was at first funny ~then sad.
Plan C!    I visited our new neighborhood vet, a naturopathic and Chinese medicine based healer. She was awesome! Tree of Life Vet. I didn’t have an ap’t but she answered my questions in the waiting room. She photocopied 2 recipes for cat renal failure and I bought a tub of powder to put on it.
I went from there to the grocer and spent $25 on 2 months fresh ingredients. The salmon was a score as I got a huge tray of ends (it didn’t need to be pretty).  It looked like poop, lol.  Long story shorter…. Salal is wolfing down his food – both the salmon recipe & regular kibble and is off the meds. His gaunt cheeks are regaining their chub! Yeah me & new vet! I’m making another batch today & will tell you about the chicken recipe next month.

Any questions, please comment below.

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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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Related articles

Berry Picking is a Labour of Love *or* What to Do with a Kajillion Huckleberries?

It’s that time of the year again. So much fun to wander around the yard in barely any clothes and pick your dessert… or pick your smoothie ingredients for the next day… or? What do you do with huckleberries?

We’ve never lived where there are so many bushes of them, so we thought we’d give it a go this year. My Love bought an actual Berry Scoop from Lee Valley, when we there earlier in the month. It’s pretty amazing. Though, it’s still a labour of love separating greenery and bugs etc from berries and storing them. We just started tonight. My Love had to climb the cherry tree ~ they are ready but super high up! I saw a raven the size of an eagle in that tree today.  Competition is tuff. It’s not even fully salmonberry or blackberry seasons yet. See blog posts this time last year. What we also have on the horizon are three kinds of apple trees and a plum tree. yippee. Missing in these photos? Strawberries ~ we ate them promptly while picking.

the berry scoop !

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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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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.

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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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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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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Image

she said “weineer”. Cocktail weineer, that is. (or) I know how to spell weineer.

38 Inspiring Objects

3. Cocktail napkins.

I’ve managed a collection of these over the years, mostly as gifts. They decorate any occasion with the just the right amount of cheek. Here are a few that currently sit in our antique bar wardrobe..

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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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because we both love soup.

 

I was given a Moosewood cookbook this week. I can’t believe I never had one, even through my vegetarian years. Tonight I made the North African Cauliflower Soup. The soup was delicious but needed some croutons for more taste. I paired it with wine & a salad ~ bocconcini cheese, grapes, lettuce, yellow peppers, celery, tomatoes, mushrooms and yogurt ceasr dressing.

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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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my little cod croquette!

I was feeling frisky in the kitchen and decided to learn a new way of using some of the frozen ziplocs of fish in our freezer – thanks to my fisherman husband. The above video is Hilarious! I went with a Greek Christmas recipe Cod Croquettes but I used Ling Cod & Snapper. I didn’t dress quite like the crazy video lady (winks to husband) but I did use her recipe. It was a lengthy process & as usual I made way too much so after dinner we were still frying croquettes. Here’s how I did it:

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pan fried all the fish in butter & garlic till flakey. Made mashed potatoes with milk. Melted butter with onions, green onions & more garlic & parsley. I grated Mozzarella cheese and crumbled Feta.

20111022-093509.jpg I mixed it all together in a big pot and put in the fridge for 45 mins.

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I made little balls of mixture (recipe called croquettes to be fingers but mine fell apart during frying). I dipped balls in egg whites then in a mixture of Panko & Cajun seasoned fish crisp & lemon pepper.

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Then I tightened up my Martha Stewart wedding apron (from Annelli in the Saulte) and got down with some frying. I used olive oil and blue mechanics paper towels for grease drying after. Naughty bits of yummy were consumed with wine & sour cream to dip. Fisherman’s review: “they were very tasty. The lemon pepper made them zingy. They were the prefect combination of zingy & crispy. It was good”. There you have it folks! Ling Cod & Snapper Croquettes.
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Well supervised salmon

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<a The making of Turkey day appies was well supervised in the new kitchen, by Salal & Estevan. Teriyaki smoked salmon, dill, parsley, cream cheese, spinach tortillas with a slice of pickled asparagus in the centre. Gobble.
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the lobster hutch

An awesome package arrived from the south shore of the Scotia a couple weeks ago ~thanks Kate! As well, her fbk status suggests that it’s lobster fishing season for her local friends and family. Which got me to thinking about all the lobster paraphernalia just in this cabin. Here are a few gems.

Corey uses this plate for the BBQ.

I REALLY loved this movie. And this scene, click on above.. about her cooking lobsters was pretty adorable.

I’ve never and will never eat lobster. But I totally eat steak when it’s “ladies times*”. More for everyone else! I recall going to the Red Lobster restaurant in London, Ontario, as a kid. It had a larger than life, GIANT red lobster affixed to the roof and live lobsters in aquariums. The live ones always upset me. So eventually, I move to Nova Scotia, only to find out that lobsters are not red. They turn red after cooking. I have been the brunt of a few lobster tales. But I DIG the bricka brach. (how was my spelling on that Kate?)

dog lobster toy as the star on our xmas tree in Kimberley.. with Kate visiting.

recent bottle opener key chain from kate (arrived day after I locked myself out of work) and fridge magnets from packages over the years

 

vintage lobster w butt rhinestones. c'mooon!

lobster squeezy dog toys & the cat wind-up lobster toy

from my postcard collection

which then got me to thinking about this guy and how much I dig his artist statement.

which then got me to thinking about my fav sticker, ever…

Safe lobster season to all and to all a good night.

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rockstar Hummus!

We recently got a cheapo puree’er thingme. So, I rocked some seriously garlic but otherwise fantASTIC Hummus, last week.

Here’s the visual recipe. I’m kind of visual. Laughing. ***

and I know dad… it doesn’t look very appetizing but it got Corey approval.

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A GUIDE TO GOODCOOKING ~Milling Company, Lake of the Woods, Canada

Nana's recipe book

Mom's notes on canning Pickled beets (my fav food ever), on the pages of Nana's recipe book

A wonderful package came in the mail last week, from my Dad (love you Daddsy). It contained a beautiful hardcover copy of one of my late Nana’s recipe book. It came the week I was canning. My fav food in the world remains my mom’s homemade pickled beets. And I believe her recipe is a variation of the one in this book. Thanks dad… another thoughtful and timely package. I attempted the beets last year and they were okay, not quite mom’s. I’m going to enjoy this book, this winter.

scene of the cooking & canning crimes, our kitchen

Pineapple salsa 2010

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Wa Wa Kie Pinapple Salsa day!

It was annual Salsa making day. My canned pinapple salsa was a screaming hit last summer, mostly with Corey (because we didn’t share much of it), so I went for it again this year.

Canning supplies were purchased at the mega supercentre evil but cheap Walmart in CR (thanks dad for gift cards!). I think I added too much vinegar.. But I’m waiting for the man to get home from camp to try it first! Water bath canning is easy enough – I watched about 5 diff YouTube videos for tips. I’m a visual learner so I find it and the how to page (see my links) really helpful. I’m ready to learn to can Salmon -nudge nudge Corey we need salmon! Salsa results to come, stay tuned!
MAKE SOMETHING EVERYDAY!