Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cauliflower Popcorn - Pinterest Challenge

Here is a snack idea that I found while perusing Pinterest. Perusing, there is a word that is used not nearly enough. Anyways, the picture looked like they would be very tasty. Cauliflower Popcorn (click here for link). With a head of cauliflower in my hand, I got to work making bite size pieces of yummy cauliflowery goodness. At least I thought I was...

Mine ended up being soggy and rubbery, nothing like popcorn or yummy cauliflowery goodness. I cannot even figure out where it went wrong! I followed it to a T! Total bummer.

By Mommy Melissa

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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Thyme & Vegetable Soup

This soup is so delicious and comforting on a cold fall evening. It brings a world of flavour to your taste buds, every bite better than the last! This recipe is definitely a keeper!

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What you will need:
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 medium sized carrots (peeled and diced)
- 1 potato (peeled and diced)
- 1-2 celery stalks (chopped)
- 1 medium onion (diced)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 box of vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup of noodles (any kind)

In a large pot, add the olive oil and turn heat on medium. Throw in carrots, potato, onion, and celery, sauté for about 7 mins (until the vegetables are about 1/2 way cooked). Add in the garlic, and take the thyme needles off 1 sprig and throw in the pot- sauté for another minute. Season with Salt and Pepper.

Pour in the vegetable stock and the tomatoes and about 2-3 sprigs of thyme (leave on the stem). Bring to a boil, then simmer for 15-20 mins (veggies should be almost cooked at this point)

Add in the noodles, cook for about 10 more minutes (until everything is cooked).

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Fall Leaves

Here's a cute craft to do with your little ones for fall. These leave are so colorful and full of fall spirit! They are a great decoration for the fall season, and all the holidays that come with it!!!

What you will need:
- construction paper (I chose fall colours, red, green, yellow, brown)
- white glue
- tissue paper in orange, green and yellow cut into small squares
- paint brush (or your finger tips will do!)

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First, cut out some shapes of leaves out of the construction paper (you can get some nice outlines off google images) make them as big or small as you like!

Second, put some glue on the tissue paper and keep decorating you leaves! Once completely dry they almost looked like stained glass! So pretty and fun too!

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Aren't they cute? These are images of them still wet, once they are completely dry they are even cuter!!!

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Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Apple Picking at Le Verger Labonte Orchard

I would like to share some pictures from our apple picking adventure at Le Verger Labonte Orchard from last week. Along with my sister, nieces, mom and my family, we had a wonderful time! The price was good and the memories made were priceless! 

Logan picked his first apple all by himself!
Enjoying yummy fresh apples!
Showing off that he didn't need a ladder!
Annabelle reaching the top!
Making a new friend!
Jax and Logan were dressed the same in their neon shirts
Took awhile to get him out of the play tractor!
They posed for this!

Now that I have an 18lb bag of McIntosh apples, I think some baking is in order! Will post them soon! 

By Mommy Melissa

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Monday, September 23, 2013

Cooking with Eggs!

My mom sends parcels sometimes to me by train. The other day she asked me to pick one up. My husband went into get it, then the next thing I know is my moms was at my window asking me what took so long to get there!! It was such a wonderful surprise, I went from freaking out there was someone yelling at me in my car window to crying my eyes out in joy!
While she was here, she made us some great breakfasts where eggs were the main attraction. Being horrible at cooking eggs, these were a sure treat!

The first I'm going to share with you is a new recipe she has perfected which she was taught by a new friend of hers, Maria. Its a take on Egg Frittata.

6 eggs
a splash of water
cooking spray
1/4 cup chopped peppers
1 small zucchini sliced in half moons
1 small onion, chopped
2 slices of ham, chopped
salt and pepper

1. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and water together. Set aside.
2. Coat fry pan with cooking spray then add peppers, zucchini, and onion in pan, season with salt and pepper. Cook on medium for about 1-2 minutes or until they are cooked lightly. Add the ham.
3. Pour eggs onto the veggies, cover and cook about 4-5 minutes.
4. Flip the egg and cook an additional 2 minutes to brown the other side.
5. Place a plate over the pan and flip onto plate. Cut and serve.

The other egg creation mom made us was Ham and Egg Baskets. You can make 24 all done at the same time in muffin tins so its perfect for a Sunday breakfast!

cooking spray
24 eggs
about 12 slices of ham lunch meat, cut in half
1 medium tomato, chopped;
1/2 cup shredded cheese

1. Spray muffin tins with cooking spray.
2. Place ham into tin like a muffin liner. Add tomatoes and cheese. Crack egg on top.
3. Bake 10-15 minutes depending on how well you want the yolk cooked.
4. Scoop basket out and serve.

It was great having my mom here to visit. She left to go home today and we all miss her already. I cannot wait for her to come back and visit again!

What are your favourite egg creations?

By Mommy Melissa

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Friday, September 13, 2013

Pinterest Challege: S'more Cookies

This Pin I will keep forever! I've already made these cookies a few times, they are delicious and have turned out every time! They are definitely a lot bigger than the pin actually looked, but hey who doesn't want more cookie? You can find the original pin here.

First Step: Make your cookie dough

It can be any chocolate cookie dough recipe you like, this is the one I used:

What you will need: 
- 2 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
-1/2 teaspoon salt
-3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
-1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
-1 egg
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 cups semisweet chocolate chips

Whatever recipe you use, add half the amount of chocolate chips it's calling for.  
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C). Grease cookie sheets or line with parchment paper.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking soda and salt; set aside.
  3. In a medium bowl, cream together the melted butter, brown sugar and white sugar until well blended. Beat in the vanilla, egg, and egg yolk until light and creamy. Mix in the sifted ingredients until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips by hand using a wooden spoon.  
Second Step: Make a S'more
What you will need:
- 2 Hershey's milk chocolate (or hazelnut) chocolate bars
- 1 cup of marshmallows (I used giant marshmallows cut into 4's, use whatever you have on hand)
- 6 Graham crackers

1. Take 1 tsp of your cookie dough and lay it flat, pile on some graham cracker, chocolate, and marshmallow, then put another tsp of cookie dough on top. Carefully push both sides of the dough together so none of the middle is showing. (You may need to add a bit more flour to your cookie dough, because if it's really sticky it will be hard to work with). Place on a baking sheet. (NOTE: These cookies expand, spread them out generously, I only put 5-6 cookies per sheet. Cook for 17-20 mins (check after 15 mins).

Recipe makes approx. 12 cookies.



Thursday, September 12, 2013

Baked Turkey Strips

Noah has to be the most picky eater on the planet, finally he just started liking those processed chicken strips, which of course has barely any nutritional value and full of sodium. So I came up with my own tasty way to make that delicious dish full of nutrients. Now for this recipe you can use chicken or turkey which ever you prefer. 

What you will need:
- boneless skinless Turkey or Chicken breast cut into strips
- 1 1/2 cups of Italian bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup light mayonaise
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried parsley 
- 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 tsp of Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a small bowl combine everything but the bread crumbs and meat- mix. In a separate bowl add in the bread crumbs. First dip the turkey strip in the mayo so it's evenly covered (thin layers of the mayo mixture) wipe off excess mayo, then cover in bread crumbs and lay on a baking sheet. Repeat until all strips are coated. Put in the oven for approx 25 mins or until cooked all the way through.

This recipe makes about 10 turkey strips (I bought the turkey that was already cut into strips). The cook time will vary depending on how thick/large your strips are cut, mine were fairly small. If you do not have Dijon on hand just omit it.

Hope you enjoy this recipe! They are tasty with Ranch dressing!! mmmm <3


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Potato Pancakes

I know this potato pancakes recipe is very unhealthy, but, my word they are good! James and I are always asking his father to make them for us but he never wants to! James begged him for the recipe and he 'gave' it to us. I think hes holding out on something because they did not taste like his. Sneaky man. Anyways, James whipped up this batch and they turned out good but as I said before, not like my father-in-laws!

Here is the recipe exactly as given to us.

4 large potatoes
1 yellow onion
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
salt and ground black pepper to taste
2 cups vegetable oil for frying

1. Finely grate potatoes with onion into a large bowl. Drain off any excess
2. Mix in egg, salt, and black pepper. Add enough flour to make mixture
thick, about 2 to 4 tablespoons all together. 
3. Turn oven to low, about 200 degrees F (95 degrees C). 
4. Heat 1/4 inch oil in the bottom of a heavy skillet over medium high heat.
Drop two or three 1/4 cup mounds into hot oil, and flatten to make 1/2 inch
thick pancakes. Fry, turning once, until golden brown. Transfer to paper
towel lined plates to drain, and keep warm in low oven until serving time.
Repeat until all potato mixture is used.

Served with sour cream makes it even tastier!
Now just to find the missing ingredient!

By Mommy Melissa

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Monday, September 9, 2013

The Cleaning Power of Baking Soda

Everyone knows that baking soda is great at keeping refrigerators smelling fresh. But when it comes to cleaning, baking soda is a miracle worker!
James decided one day, he was going to try and make clove oil (lord knows why). He had no clue what he was doing but he saw it on YouTube so it couldn't be that hard... a black pot and a house smelling of burnt cloves later he tells me he might have done it wrong and will have to throw away my pot. I was mad! The pots I use are the best! They were my mom and dads, which they bought many, many years ago. I would not believe it was trash. I WOULD fix it! With a little effort and baking soda.
Check out his handy work!

You can see the burnt coming off

Almost good as new! 
First you will need to collect a sponge and baking soda. Pour a generous amount into the pot and scrub your heart out! It will take some elbow grease but its worth the effort. Give it a good wash down and good as new! Since the clove smell was very prominent, I boiled some water and vinegar in the pot for a few minutes then scrubbed it down again and the smell was gone.

James gets to live another day, thanks to the cleaning power of Baking Soda!

Works great to remove tea stains from mugs too!

by Mommy Melissa

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Sunday, September 8, 2013

Tiny Outfits

If your new to the mom world and just had a little boy, you will soon realize it can be tough finding cute clothes for your little one, I find that most stores cater to the girls more so than boys. It's sometimes hard to find something adorable at a reasonable price. Then I came across Old Navy's Baby/Child selection, there clothes are unique and at a way reasonable price! I know with it cooling down out there you might need to restock on some fall/winter attire, check out Old Navy! Here are just some of my favs currently:

If you like what you see and would like to see more, visit Old Navy!


Saturday, September 7, 2013

Gummy Bear and Sprite Ice Pops

Pinterest is always helpful to look for fun ideas to do with children. I came across this cute idea that would  be great as a summer treat. Gummy bear and Sprite ice pops. Simply pour Sprite into a popsicle mold, add gummy bears, freeze. This was a project perfect for my youngest niece Madison. It took us maybe five minutes to complete and then a day to finally taste them! The kids say they tasted great but I am still calling this a flop. The original picture (here) shows them being clear and having the gummies everywhere. So cute and colourful! Our bears sunk to the bottom and the Sprite froze strangely.
Gummy Bears and Sprite Ice Pops. Nailed it!
I had high expectations but was disappointing with the end result. Maybe the Sprite should be flat, that may help.

Have you tried making them? Did yours look right?

By Mommy Melissa

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Friday, September 6, 2013

Labour Day Camping Trip

My sister Jennifer and her family were going camping to take advantage of the Labour Day long weekend. They invited my family along as well, but since James not feeling very well, Amelia and I hoped a ride with them and went camping too! Logan stayed home with James because last time we went camping he decided he would escape from the tent. Terrifying, but thankfully it was during the day! Especially if I were alone without James! So the boys had special boys time playing cars and watching Thomas the train.

We had a blast at the Voyageur Provincial Park in East Hawkesbury, Ontario! It is a wonderful camp ground. There are three sections you can stay at. We always go to Portage. It is the best! It is private and you barely see your neighbours. I am not a fan of camping in an open field where your neighbours are right there. In Portage, you are surrounded by trees. The other sections are Iroquois and Champlain. Champlain is very open and the closest to the park entrance/exit. Iroquois is a mix of both. Open but with more trees and a little more privacy. The beaches there are good too. Swimming, fishing, boat rentals, and a roped off part where you can feel a bit safer to let little children play.

Here are a few things I would like to share with everyone about the camp out!

Lets start with the food! Jennifer made one of the best steaks I have ever had! Before we left, she placed the steaks in a zipper seal bag and poured in pesto. When it was time to cook them, the pesto was infused into the meat. Cooked over the fire, oh my gosh! You will need to try this! Even cooked on a bar-b-q would be great! For dessert that night, bananas wrapped in foil then cooked in the fire. An ooey-gooey master piece! Camping is just not complete without s'mores!
The perfect steak
Campfire bananas
hmm, not the best pic
The beach day was a lot of fun!Amelia loves the water. She thought it was hilarious when she would hit the water and it would splash her in the face! Sunscreen was being put on every half hour that day! It was very hot and the sun was strong.

Me and my baby girl

Its name was Sally
Wildlife is everywhere at Voyageur, my brother in law Nick learned that one night! Everyone had gone to bed but he stayed enjoying the fire. Well, he dozed off and woke up to a skunk right beside him! He stayed still and it walked off out of site. He figured it left, oh no! It was under his chair! Once he was sure it was gone, he decided not to push his luck any farther and went to bed. Smart man!
We also had a more pleasant time with a little salamander that decided to come and greet us! He was so cute! When it walked on you it felt like little tickles! After Annabelle taught Madison all about how they can regrow their tail, we let him go in the woods. The girls wanted to keep him but we told them about how this is its habitat and it wouldn't be fair to it. The best thing is though, James brought my tent to our yard when we got home, a freaking salamander came scurrying out! It came home with us!!  He got away too fast into a crack to pick him back up but how awesome is that!?

We are planning another fall camping trip soon! It will be interesting to see how that turns out. We want to try and make a stew over the open fire!

What are your favourite things to do while camping?

By Mommy Melissa

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