making a change

Tuesday, July 31, 2012
Over the past few weeks, I've decided I needed to take this blog to another level.

I've loved posting on blogger, but this blog is moving to wordpress.

I'm not going anywhere, same love you are getting here, just on a new domain.

All of my previous posts have been transferred over, but you can still find them here.

See you on the new site.

It's purdy :).

strawberry jam

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Time is flying by too quickly.

I made this jam over a month ago.

I have since made more raspberry jam.

My sister in law posted a photo yesterday of her wedding invite. From 3 years ago. It felt like yesterday.

The husband and I at their wedding.

Also, I blinked then this happened.

Can't believe this was 5 years ago.

I still think I look like this.

But thankfully I don't.

Moral of the story, get making strawberry jam before you run out of time. Time goes by faster than you think.

Strawberry jam
[ from Intimate weddings ]

 Makes approx. 10 250ml jars. I reduced the amount of sugar from 6 cups to 5 because I don't like an overly sweet jam. The jam still set quite nicely and you taste more of the strawberry flavour, but feel free to use all 6 cups if you so please.

13 cups strawberries, cleaned and hulled ( about 4.5 pounds)
5 cups of sugar
1/2 cup lemon juice

Place the strawberries in a large pot over medium-low heat. Mash the berries with a potato masher while bringing them up to a simmer. You can mash the berries to whatever consistency you like, I prefer a smoother jam, so I mashed quite a bit. The berries will also break down during the cooking process. Once the fruit is simmering, stir in the sugar and the lemon juice. Turn the heat up to high and bring to a boil. The berries will have to boil for 30 minutes, stirring frequently and skipping the hot pink foam off as you go. The jam will be ready once a cold spoon dipped into the mixture will hold the jam. It's not ready if the jam runs off the spoon like syrup.

Once finished, remove pot from heat and fill prepared jars. Process in boiling water for 15 minutes. Let jars rest for at least 24 hours before using. Store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.

Don't know the full process, start to finish for canning? Here's a link from the pro's at Bernardin.

simple potato salad

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

While my mom and I were out last week, we were reminiscing about a comment that was made about a year ago.

The comment was something along the lines of my mom not thinking about what words were coming-out of her mouth.

Like when she referred to a beautiful sunset by saying "the moon sure looks pretty."


The comment we were laughing about was when we were out one evening and my mom ordered a wine spritzer. Judge all you want, but apparently they making a comeback. Usually when you get served a white wine spritzer, you get a glass with ice and wine, with a small carafe of club soda to add to it.  My mom gets her drink, pours in her club soda and adds a lime, takes a sip. She makes a face. Like a pucker face.

"Whew, that's strong. I think it's a double."

Wait, what?

"No mom, I think you just need to add more club soda. I'm pretty certain there's no such thing as a double wine spritzer. Pretty sure that's just a full glass of wine."

"Oh." And the she laughs.

So while you are enjoying this simple potato salad on a warm summers eve, try having a wine spritzer, a double if you please. Which is just basically ice and wine.

Simple potato salad
[ slightly adapted from the Kitchn ]

2 lbs russet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and cubed into 2-inch chunks
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1 1/4 teaspoons dry mustard
1 teaspoon prepared yellow mustard
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/4 cup chopped green onions
salt & pepper to taste
finely chopped chives for garnish

In a large pot, add the potatoes and cover with cold water. Place pot on stove top and bring to a boil. Boil the potatoes for 20 - 30 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender. Drain potatoes and add back to pot. Add to the pot mayonnaise, dry mustard, yellow mustard, celery, and green onion. Mash slightly with a potato masher, leaving quite a lot of chunks. If you like a smoother potato salad, mash more. Continue mixing by folding the ingredients with a rubber spatula. Season with salt and pepper, transfer to a large bowl and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Serve topped with chives, if desired.

overnight oatmeal in a jar

Friday, July 13, 2012

Oatmeal is one of those crazy health foods that you should eat everyday.

But when it's steamy hot outside, the last thing I want to do is eat a huge bowl of warmth. But I love oatmeal, and I want it in my belly even though it's summer time.

I've been reading all over the internets about this overnight oatmeal. You take some oats and some milk, toss it in a jar, leave it in the fridge overnight and voila!¡ You've got oatmeal.

I have some steel cut oats and milk in the house, and I've got 5 minutes, let's try it.

I really liked it. It's not like the warm, traditional oatmeal in the sense that it's creamy with almost no liquid. This is almost like cereal. The oats have softened but not completely, so they have a really nice chew to them. I added some brown sugar, blueberries, and chopped walnuts to my bowl this morning and it filled me up without feeling like a lump in my stomach.

This recipe is so versatile, you can use soy or a nut milk in place of the dairy, you can add whatever sweetener you prefer, and add whatever topping you have in the house. Chocolate chips, marshmallows, and raspberries? You go for it.

It's oatmeal, no matter what you add to it, it's still healthy.

Overnight oatmeal
[ from the Kitchn ]

Like I said above, this recipe can be adapted to any tastes. Feel free to replace the milk with your favourite non-dairy option, maybe take out the brown sugar and use agave syrup.

1 cup steel cut oats
2 cups  non-fat milk
2 teaspoons brown sugar
toppings of your choosing

In a large mason jar, or medium sized bowl, combine the oats, milk, and brown sugar. Cover and let sit in the refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, stir and pour a serving (about 1/2 cup of mixture) into a bowl. Top with desired topping and enjoy.

watermelon granita

Monday, July 9, 2012

The heat can do crazy things to ones state of mind.

Friday, after work (yes I'm working part-time, another time we'll go over it) I had an intense craving for watermelon.

Like crazy, pregnant woman intense craving. (no I'm not pregnant, don't be thinking crazy like that)

So naturally I'm thinking, let's pack Avery up in the stroller and let's walk in the sun to go get a watermelon. Totes perfect idea.

But here's where the heat makes you crazy. Of course I'm not going to go to the TWO grocery stores literally five steps from my house, I decide to walk to a specific produce store. A 45 minute walk, one way, from my house.

Doesn't seem so bad yet right? But I decide to walk at 3:30 in the afternoon when it's about 27 degrees outside (that's 80 F for my American friends) so naturally it feels like it's about four thousand degrees outside. Whatever, I'm out enjoying the sun after all the rain, working on my tan, and Avery likes the fresh air.

Arrive at the produce store. Watermelons are priced at ¢49 a pound, so of course, I look for the biggest one I can find. My watermelon cost $11.35.  I bought a 23 pound watermelon. Which I now have to put in the stroller and push along with a 13 pound child, my diaper bag which weighs at least 10 pounds, and the stroller itself which probably weighs 25 pounds. For 45 minutes. Up hill most of the way. In flip-flops.

I ate ice cream on the way home to make up for all the unintentional calories I burned.

So because I bought a stupidly enormous watermelon, I literally have a shit-ton of it. Not that it's a bad thing, but I cut 3/4 of it and it filled the biggest bowl I own so I needed to find a recipe to use up the last quarter.

Thanks PW for helping me beat the heat and keep the crazies away.

Watermelon granita
[ from Pioneer Woman ]

8 cups of seedless watermelon chunks, 1/2-1/3 watermelon rind removed and cut into chunks
juice of 2 limes
1/3 cup white sugar

In a blender, combine half of the watermelon, half of the lime juice, and half of the sugar. Blend until completely smooth, pour into a large bowl. Repeat with remaining watermelon, lime juice, and sugar.

Pour watermelon mixture into a 9x13-inch baking dish and place in the freezer for 2 - 3 hours.
Remove from freezer and with a spoon, scrape the frozen layer. The sides will be more frozen and the middle will be almost slushy. Return to freezer for another 2 - 3 hours, repeat scraping process. Continue freezing and scraping until the entire mixture is frozen and scraped. Served frozen in fancy glasses.

and a picture of Jackson. Just cause. Check my pink pants and the husband's dirty foot.