Friday, April 29, 2011

Fun Flower Pots

Having had endured some very windy and rainy weather lately, I had to find something for the kids to do, other than whine because they can't go outside.  So, I ventured to the dollar store and for a mere $11, I bought all of the materials to make these cute little pots and plant some seeds.  Check it out!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Easy Chicken Parmesan

I love this dish because it's super easy and it can be modified any way you like.

4 skinless, boneless, chicken breasts
1/2 cup Italian dressing
2/3 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup marinara or pasta sauce
4 slices Havarti cheese

Preheat oven to 375F.  Place chicken in a shallow dish. Pour Italian dressing over chicken and turn to coat.  Using a plate, combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese, and stir.  Roll chicken it bread crumb mixture and place on baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Carefully top each chicken breast a slice of Havarti and spoon marinara sauce over top.  Return to oven for 10-12 minutes until cheese has melted.  Let stand for a few minutes before serving.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Chocolate Crispy Bars

These squares are a new twist on the no-bake Rice Krispie squares that we so often turn to. I found the original recipe for these bars in a cook book from Best Recipes Ever, a cute little cooking show.  The recipe has been changed to suit what was in my cupboard and my time limit.  They are so tasty!

Yield: 24 squares

1 cup chocolate chips
1/3 cup butter
2 1/2 cups Rice Krispies Cereal
1/2 cup peanuts, chopped

Line a 9x9 pan with parchment paper.  In a medium bowl, melt butter and chocolate chips in microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir. Return to microwave for 30 seconds or until melted.  Add cereal and half of the chopped peanuts.  Press into pan.  Add remaining peanuts and press firmly.  Cool until firm and cut into squares.


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Good Morning Everyone!  Just a quick post to say Happy Easter and I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!  Click here and hop around some wonderful blogs!



Friday, April 22, 2011

Cranberry Yogurt Parfait

I was a guest blogger over at 3 Jewels In My Crown!

Hello Everyone!  Welcome to my guest post on this fabulous blog created by my wonderful friend Crystal.

I started a little blog called My Life In A Wine Bottle, a place for me to rant, rave, share recipes, and uphold my belief that wine cures everything.  I am a mother of 2 amazing children and if I am not running after them, I am crocheting like a mad woman for my little Etsy Shop.

That's enough about me, on with the show!

Cranberry Yogurt Parfait

Greek yogurt is fat free but loaded with protein and tastes great.  It can easily be sweetened naturally with things like honey and pure maple syrup.  Try this for breakfast, snacks and best of all, dessert.

1 cup frozen cranberries
1-2 tbsp cranberry juice or water
1/2-3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/3 cup of any cluster cereal (I used Post Great Grains)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Sloppy Joes

A recipe fit for picky children, of which I have 2.  Caramelized onions add a little sweetness to this tangy sauce.

Makes 4 large sandwiches

Caramelized Onions

1 onion, chopped
1 tbsp butter

In a small glass dish, microwave for 3 minutes stirring after each minute ** Please be very careful as the dish can get very hot!

1lb lean ground beef
1 cup ketchup
3 tbsp brown sugar
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
Large Kaiser buns, toast, or whatever you please!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Hump Day Confessions

Happy Wednesday everyone!  I have been reading other people's random lists about strange and funny things that happen in their lives and found myself reflecting on my inner weirdo.  Here are my top 10 things that may be a little weird to some.

10 Hump Day Confessions

  1. I LOVE the smell of permanent marker. The original fat Redimark permanent marker, like the one I used as a kid to ruin my sister's Barbie doll.  I could smell it all day if I didn't run the risk of permanent brain damage.
  2. I watch Family Guy way more than I like to admit. Although I won't let my kids watch it, I can't help myself.  "Giggity" is not a real word.  "Giggity" is not a real word.  Repeat after me...
  3. I pick things.  Wallpaper, scabs, stickers, beer labels, nail polish, my nose (not really but I know you were thinking about that).  This is why I can crochet for hours and hours.  I have idol hands, and you know what they say about idol hands...
  4. I straighten the pictures hanging on my walls on a daily basis.  I can spot a crooked picture from the corner of my eye, in the dark, without my glasses on.  I'm not weird, I'm anal. Aka weird?
  5. I twirl my hair.  Not so weird.  I just do it unwillingly.  Like at work and the kids ask why I am doing it.  Then they copy me.  Maybe I am starting a trend.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Thank You!

Today I wanted to show some photo appreciation for some very talented ladies.  In my Etsy Shop, I make crocheted baby hats and photo props.  Since I lack any photography skills, I was more than happy to receive these fabulous photos.

The photos to the left were taken by Amberly over at Aidee Jae Photography and if you happen to be in her area, she is having a giveaway on her Facebook  fan page!

These photos to the right were taken by Theresa Brereton Photography in Milton, Ontario.  Check her out here as well.

Thanks so much ladies, I really appreciate it!


Monday, April 18, 2011

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

MMMuffins!  You know those ugly black bananas in the freezer?  How can something so yucky looking taste so good?

Yield: 12 muffins
Bake time: 25-28 minutes*
Temperature: 350F


3 ripe bananas
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup butter or margarine
1 egg
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pure vanilla
2 tbsp warm water
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350F and line muffin pan with medium or large cups.  In a small bowl mash bananas and set aside.  In large bowl, cream together butter, sugar, and egg until well blended.  Add banana.  Stir in vanilla and water.  Blend in flour, baking soda, salt.  Add chocolate chips and stir until all ingredients are well blended.  Bake for 25-28 minutes or until tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

*The muffin pan used is stoneware, so baking time may need to be adjusted.


Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Book Club Without a Book

A year or so ago my girlfriend came up with a fabulous idea.  Let's have a book club, minus the book.  Let's face it, I really have no interest in reading right now.  With so much else going on in a day, I tend to watch a sitcom and call it a night, instead of reading, which is probably a better choice, but oh well.  Instead I have much more fun just hanging out with the girls.

About once a month we all get together and do something different.  We have gone to Hot Yoga, which by the way was the best workout I have ever had.  We have had a movie and cocktail night, secret Santa and many more.  Tonight is our 4th clothing swap.

The rules are are simple:

  1. Bring 10 items of clothing (we found out that more than that takes the entire night to go through).
  2. Bring as many accessories as you would like (shoes, purses, scarves etc).
  3. Anything you don't want to take back will be donated.
  4. Bring a munchie.
  5. Laugh a lot!
This is a great way to add random pieces to your wardrobe and have a ton of fun.  We all need some girl time once in a while!


Friday, April 15, 2011

Playmobil Review

Playmobil Forest Lodge
Today's post is a little review of one of my children's favourite toys, Playmobil.

Made in Germany, this is one quality brand that I have no problem spending a little extra money on.  My kids spend hours letting their imaginations run wild.  With many different themes, there is something for every child.  Yes, there are many small pieces, but it has been a good lesson for us.  My kids have to play with their sets upstairs at the table or on the floor.  The pieces are stored in a shoebox sized container with a lid and they are great at cleaning it up and putting it away.  The price is comparable to Lego, so if you are looking for something different I highly recommended picking up one of these play sets.

Happy Playing!


Thursday, April 14, 2011

I took some time to fiddle with some photos from last summer.  I am by no means a photographer, but I love trying!  These pictures were taken at the beautiful Presqu'ile Provincial Park here in Ontario.  We spend a lot of the summer exploring and the kids love it.

Thanks to my good friend Jen, I never shop online without going here first.  I have found coupon codes for nearly every online store I have ever shopped.  No registration required, just enter the entire web address into the search bar: example

Why do I love this site?  I have been using this website since I first signed up for an internet account.  You just select the coupons you want and they get mailed to you.  Check back often as they are adding more all of the time.

Happy Shopping!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Quick Tip-Flash Frozen Herbs

I LOVE these!  Try picking up a few of these to keep in the freezer.  I have a really bad habit of buying a bunch of fresh herbs and leaving them in the fridge until the are unrecognizable.  So, while browsing through the frozen veggie section at the grocery store, I found these.  Notice the dents in the boxes?  You just take them out of the freezer, bang them around a little bit to loosen the flakes, and sprinkle them into your recipe.  Done.  They taste just as good as fresh and last much longer.


Homemade Tomato Soup

Today is a rainy, cold and all around miserable day outside.  Hubby is at work. S is at school and D went for a nap.  A perfect opportunity to make my favourite Tomato Soup.  I have had this recipe on a piece of paper floating around my recipe scratch pad.  I know it came from somewhere online, and when I find out where, I will pay credit where credit is due.

Until then, try this...


1 14oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
1 stalk celery diced
1 large carrot diced
1 onion diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chicken broth
2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
1/2 cup 10% cream

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Bad Hair Day

I had to snap a few photos of my daughter this morning.  We accidentally put her to bed with her pigtails still in tact and for the life of me, I can not get her hair to stay down.  I am glad she is too young to care because it is way too nice out today to fight with bed head.  Slap a hat on and outside we go!


Monday, April 11, 2011

Sheppard's Pie

Everyone has their own way of making Sheppard's Pie and I thought I would share my version.  The cheese is, of course, the best part.  Adding parmesan and cheddar together adds great flavour and keeps the grated cheddar from sticking together.


6 large potatoes, peeled and quartered
2 tbsp butter or margarine
1/2 cup milk
1lb lean ground beef
1/2 packet onion soup mix
1 1/2 cups frozen Green Giant mixed vegetables
1 can of beef gravy
3/4-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Friday, April 8, 2011

Collectible Condoms?

     The upcoming Royal wedding has been featured on the news over and over.  I have caught bits and pieces of information surrounding the events and I am happy for the Prince, but not sure if I will put aside the better part of my day to watch it.  One of the most interesting things that caught my attention is the amount of collectibles that can be purchased to remember this special day.  Some of them are, in my opinion, worthy of purchasing and displaying.  Others, well,  are just plain weird.  Here are some of the weird items I have found:

Bread Dipping Oil

Today's post is about my new favourite snack.  A hunk of fresh baked Ciabatta bread and some quick, homemade dipping oil.  I have purchased many of the premade spices to make bread dipping oil, but was always noticing the amount of grit in my mouth when I dipped.  So I came up with some of my own recipes, and my entire family loves them.

What you need:

Extra Virgin Olive Oil (not cold pressed)
Balsamic Vinegar
Dried Rosemary
Dried Thyme
Garlic flakes or powder

In a small shallow dish, add 3 parts Olive Oil to 1 part vinegar.  Sprinkle with rosemary and thyme.  Add a pinch on garlic.  You can stir if you like, or just start dipping!

For a twist, try using a splash of White Wine vinegar, or a splash of lemon juice.

Don't be afraid to add more flavours.  Basil, Italian seasoning, whatever you have in your spice rack.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Yield: 40 small cookies or 24 medium cookies
Temperature: 350F
Bake Time: 18 minutes *see note


1 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp all purpose flour (to stiffen mixture)
3/4 cup chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Let Me Introduce Myself...


  Welcome to my new adventure as a blogger.   On this blog you will find some of my favourite things to eat, drink, crochet, and discuss.  I am a "newbie" to this thing called blogging, so please bare with me as I stumble my way through this blogging maze.  The good news is, I am a fast learner and have had a fabulous teacher.  Her name is Crystal and she is an amazing, inspiring friend who has an equally amazing blog called Three Jewels In My Crown.  Thanks to her I have overcome my frustration with trying to create this blog, and dove in head first.  Thanks so much for being such a great friend Crystal  XO

Alas, my first posting!