Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Deck Sneak Peak!

Hubby has been We have been working on the deck over the past little while since we have had all this wonderful weather (except for this past weekend when we had hail. Yes. I said hail.) and I am sooo excited to get this finished!

We have a small backyard so I designed a low deck with some extras for visual interest. I did do want rails around the deck as that would break up the view and I wanted a seamless integration in our small backyard. I am hoping to get this project finished within the next month, flowers and all, and am planning a reveal around the middle to end of May.

In the meantime, here's a sneak peek of the skirting that my hubby installed last week. Goodbye, bunny family! Now you will have to move to someone else's yard and eat their plants.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Quick "Pizza" Appetizer

I needed to make a quick appetizer the other night for our movie night (or, as my son says, nuuuewvie night) and there was not much in the fridge that was inspiring me. I saw some cream cheese and that got me thinking. So I grabbed a few odds and ends and this is what came out! I laid out 3 small wheat tortillas and spread them with cream cheese. If your cream cheese is firm from the fridge, pop it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds at a time until softened. I also like to stir it in between microwave visits! I used the back of a spoon to spread the cream cheese on the tortillas, which helped it go very quickly. Then I used up a partial jar of antipasto - mine was a Wildly Delicious one and it was super yum! Since I was using up the rest of the jar, I was very generous with the antipasto. I would generally not use quite that much. Out came the pizza cutter - I cut 6 slices per tortilla (ended up with 18 pieces) and sprinkled some chopped fresh herbs on top. If you are not sure what herb to use, check the ingredient list on the antipasto jar for ideas. You could always go with something universally tasty like parsley in a pinch. So there you have it! Five minutes (well, maybe six with the herb chopping!) to a tasty and healthy appetizer. :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Easy Peasy Mac & Cheese

My son could survive solely on chocolate milk and mac & cheese. And not even homemade mac - I am talking the instant in-a-box mac & cheese. Le sigh!

Anyhow, I only serve this 1-2 times per month on those I-can't-get-off-the-couch nights and if hubby doesn't want to cook either. I like to add a few extras, like veggies and meat, to make me feel as though it is not quite so bad. (Side note: is anyone else watching Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution? It is such a great show and I am so happy to see the positive change that is happening as a result. Remember the episode where he showed the parents and teachers how much fat and junk was in the food? Super duper nastiness right there, people!!)

So tonight was one of those nights and I added in 3 extras: peas, shallots, and tomato. I chopped the tomato and shallots super finely, and then the shallots went into the frying pan for a quick saute.
I don't add as much butter and milk as the directions say to - just about one tablespoon of butter and maybe a quarter cup of lowfat milk. After that was done, I added the chopped tomato and the sauteed shallot. I defrosted about one cup of peas and added them in at the last minute.
Not Julia Child, but it will do!

Friday, April 16, 2010

DIY: Easy Peasy Toddler Glam

I was out earlier this week and found this cute little tiered ruffly t-shirt combo for my daughter. I brought them home and thought I would glam them up a bit. I am on a roll here - I blinged up her new denim jacket a couple days ago. I heart Swarovski crystals! And I have plans to be-ribbon my own toddler spring coat that my mother made me when I was her age! (It's pink and has duck buttons. The pink is staying but the ducks are going buh-bye!) Anyway, here is the before! I wanted something different than ribbon and crystals, so I decided to go with beads and accessories. I had some peachy-pink bicone beads that were a perfect tone match so I sewed them with a double thread around each wrist. It was easy to stay in a perfect line - I just followed the seam! Cheating? Maybe, but it worked! Then I made a cute lil bracelet with the same bicones, some oval pearls in a creamy ivory, and pink seed beads. (Made myself a matching one, too! Can't do the mother-daughter matching jewelry thing for too long so take advantage while you can! Ha!) I loved how the beads matched - so cute! - and the bracelet will easily go with other things in her closet. Plus, I made it a tiny bit too big so she can wear it for awhile before she outgrows it. And last but not least, a hairbow! Inch and a half white grosgrain with sheer peach, knotted centre, and finished with mini Swarovski crystals. (Had to get those in somewhere. Wonder if there is a 12-step program I can join?) The bow is about 4 inches in diameter. Note to self: need to increase bow storage space. Here is the entire ensemble! She looked so adorable in it! (But I forgot to get her pic when she was wearing it! :( Guess I am gonna have to start carrying the camera in the diaper bag again.)

Someone Ate the Duck's Bum

And I have no idea who could have possibly done that to my sweet little girl's leftover Easter candy kabob. Except now it is completely gone and there is no evidence left to target the perpetrator. Hmm, probably a good thing this happened while she was napping. Coincidence? I think not so.

The duck would like to apologize for his blurry picture. I took three; this is number two. It is his fault for not smiling more with his icing beak.

I should go see if maybe my son has one of these leftover too! Time to check on my baby and see if she is still napping. Yeah. That's my story and I'm sticking to it!

*DISCLAIMER* My kids got lots and lots and lots of Easter candy, so one candy kabob here and there will go completely unnoticed. Plus, it's healthier for them! ;) And, we really can't point fingers at whoever ate it. Because no one knows who for sure...

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Quick Frit

I have always been a mostly-healthy eater (pie for breakfast? Me thinks YES!) but I think that once you have kids, you try harder. At least, you should. Right? prance off that soapbox

Anyway, so I am always looking for great, quick meals that incorporate colour, flavour, and most of the food groups. And on Wednesdays, I am looking for really quick. I used to make mac and cheese a lot, or spaghetti, or pizza, or loaded nachos on Wednesdays. Yes, they were quick, but healthy? Not so much. Lately, I have begun incorporating breakfast foods like egg bakes and such. So tonight, we are having a frittata.

The best thing about frittatas is that you can add whatever you want and how much you want, and are basically guaranteed a great dish.

Quick Frit


8 grape tomatoes, quartered
6 stalks asparagus, chopped
3 slices red pepper, chopped
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
eggs (I used about 8-10 large)
splash of milk
pinch of pepper
3 thick slices cream cheese, cut into small cubes
(I wish I had fresh thyme today - would have been FAB!)


1. Prep all veggies and mix together. Prep cream cheese and sprinkle in pie pan (pan should be sprayed with cooking spray first - I use Pam Olive Oil spray).

2. Sprinkle veggies in pan.

3. Place eggs in bowl and mix slightly with whisk. Add milk and pepper; whip until foamy. Slowly pour into pan, covering all cheese and veggies.

4. Bake at 350 degrees F for approximately 30 minutes.

5. Try not to eat the whole thing in one sitting.

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