Hobbies! Hobbies! Hobbies!

Okay, this is going to be an update post, as I’ve got a few hobbies finishing up, and a few more starting.

This is the state of my veggie garden. Horrible, isn’t it. The weeds just took right over and the few nights of frost we had killed off everything. Well, almost everything. See that green up front inbetween the two browns? Guess what that is? Celery. Yup. Even after two nights of below freezing temps, the celery is still nice and green. Too bad it’s too thin to harvest. I can’t put water on it because the sun is too weak and won’t evaporate, so the plants would be sitting in damp soil all the time.


And this is the scarf I started a few weeks back. Crap, it’s long and I’m still on the first ball of yarn! It isn’t going to be very warm. I think it’s one of those accessory scarfs.   





This is a sweater I knitted for Husbands grandmother. I did it a couple years ago, and forgot about it until my mother-in-law showed it to me. She told me she liked Cardinals and when I saw the pattern in a magazine I just had to knit it up for her. I don’t know if she ever wore it, but I’m glad I did it anyway. This was also the project where I learned I’m a loose knitter. Poor woman was swimming in it.



And I’m working on perfecting the best hot chocolate recipe. Hopefully I’ll have it ready in time for the holidays. We’re going to go into the city and buy special mugs for hot chocolate. I LOVE sitting my a roaring fire, watching a holiday movie and drinking hot chocolate from a holiday mug.

Autumn Dinner Celebration – Part 2; The Food Review

Dinner was good. Took me the better part of the afternoon to prepare and cook everything, except the stew. Stew is always better the day after you make it. The pumpkin soup wasn’t what I expected. For some reason I thought it wouldn’t be so bland, but it’s pumpkin. What did I expect? I guess pumpkin pie soup? 😛 Husband said it was better than the expensive gourmet soups you get in the store, so that made me feel really good! I guess the corn bread was good. I’ve never had it before, so I don’t have anything to compare it too. I was really careful with the batter. It’s just like banana bread and I messed that up the last time I made it. Again, Husband said it was really good. He said it was like having Dolly Parton cook him a meal. I have no idea where he got that from. I am neither blonde or THAT well-endowed, and you don’t want to hear me sing.

Sithboy didn’t like any of it. I did manage to get one spoonful of soup into him before he balked at the whole meal, but that was only because there were real bacon pieces on top. I didn’t make anything for dessert as we were going in to see in-laws, and my Mother-in-law always makes some. This time, she made chocolate cupcakes with real raspberries inside.

OMG. I scarfed down four.

Anyway, overall I think supper was a success. Don’t know if I would make the pumpkin soup again, unless Husband asked me. Cornbread-yes. I rather enjoyed that. Looking forward to doing a special dinner for Samhain now.

Autumn Celebration Dinner

If you clicked on the link in my last post, and scrolled down, you saw a list of things that you could use for a fall celebration. Including what kind of foods. I planned out a special dinner for tomorrow that includes just about all of what was listed. Only thing I didn’t get was goose or mutton. Goose, I find is too greasy and where the hell would I get mutton? Anyway, I’m substituting it with beef. So here’s what I have planned.

Pumpkin Soup Recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/creamy-pumpkin-soup/detail.aspx

Beef Stew Recipe: http://allrecipes.com/recipe/beef-stew-vi/detail.aspx

Corn Bread Recipe: http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/bakingdesserts/r/cornbread.htm

I love this recipe site because it allows you to change the amount of servings and it will automatically re-calculate your ingredients. I’m making the stew today. Stew is always better the next day anyway. I’ll let you know how tomorrow how the rest of the meal tasted.

Autumn come in at 5:05 am tomorrow morning.  

~Happy Eating!~

Banana Bread.

This time of year fruit or veggies left out on the counter can spoil so fast. I love bananas and try to eat at least one a day for the potassium and other nutrients, but more often than not, after a few days they start to look like this.

So. Gross. Sithboy picked it up by the stem and one of them fell right off. Talk about over ripe, but instead of throwing it out, I made banana bread. It’s quick and easy and the best thing, no freaking preservatives!



This recipe is so good, trust me, it won’t be around long enough to go bad.

~Happy Eating!~

Hobby –Food: Dressings. Not Just For Salad’s Anymore

I like my food with flavour. Who doesn’t, right? Sometimes, when Husband buys a chunk of meat he forgets to buy some kind of seasoning to go with it. Luckily, as it’s bunny food season, we have a pile of salad dressings in the fridge. Yes, I have come to learn that salad dressing are good for more than just salads. For instance, this week I cooked a pork sirloin that was marinated in a Mandarin orange dressing. Not only did it taste good, but made the house smell yummy too! Another dressing I’ve used for meat is Greek Feta, but be careful if you use this one, the feta cheese blocks the pour hole and if you squeeze too hard, you’ll blow the plastic covering off.

What dressings or homemade marinates have you used? Were they tasty? A fail?

~Happy Eating!~

Hobby –Food: Allergies, and Lasagne

My mother has discovered she’s allergic to gluten; more precisely, she’s allergic to celiac, a protein in most grains.  This got me to thinking. How come there are so many food allergies now, or are we more considerate of others than we were, say twenty years ago? I remember knowing only two people who had any food allergy, when I was a kid. Now it seems like every other child has some kind of allergy.

Anyway, I’ve posted a link in case you’re curious.



Hobby – Food. When Good Recipes Go Bad.

I’m going to post another recipe today, but first I want to tell you about a recipe that went wrong. Horribly wrong. I love making meatloaf and it’s one of the few things Sithboy will eat apart from chicken. He loves my meatloaf, but sometimes I get anal about preparing meals using pre-made ingredients, so I went searching online and found something that sounded wonderful!

I don’t know, maybe it was just me, but the texture of real onion pieces was…well…different. I’m sorry, I’m lying. It was horrible feeling in my mouth. All mushy and bleh. Turned me right off (Strike One). The sauce mixture I made for it was for on top of the loaf, and was really yummy, but none of the flavour saturated the meat (Strike Two), and I kid you not when I say dog shit would taste better. See, I only have two strikes against this recipe, so it’s survived enough for me to try it again, but this time, I’m going to mix the sauce in with the meat. The bread pieces should pick up the flavour enough for it to taste good. I’m hoping.

Anyway, that’s the plan. I’ll let you know how it works out. Now on to the recipe. This is a very simple thing to put together. My sister-in-law mixed this up years ago. You get very experimental on a low income.

1 pound of hamburger

1 can of crushed tomatoes

2 cups of pasta (your choice)

Cook the pasta; set aside. In a deep skillet, brown the hamburger, drain. Reduce heat. Add the can of crushed tomatoes and pasta. Simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste. Ta-Da! Kids love hamburger and the warm tomatoes is actually healthier for you. I thought about experimenting and instead of pasta, putting in Kraft Dinner (Macaroni and cheese for you Americans, :P), but I haven’t done that yet. If you do, let me know how it taste. That’s right, I’m not above using my friends as guinea pigs.

Happy Eating!       

From the Recipe Box: Honey Mustard Chicken.

I love to cook. More so since in the last few years as I started watching what I eat. I love combining ingredients, smelling their aroma, creating everything by hand instead of pulling it out of the freezer and throwing it in to the oven.  There’s something satisfying about knowing how you prepare your food and what goes into your body. Our lifestyles are hectic and a lot of the food we eat is prepared and stored with preservatives. Ever check out how much sodium is in that box of instant noodles? With the price of food rising, it’s more important than ever to have some kind of a budget, and that sometimes includes cheap food, but you can put together an good meal without going broke. This is a recipe I love. It’s on the back of the soup can for Cambell’s Cream of Chicken soup. 

Honey-Mustard Chicken

Chicken pieces (skinless breasts or strips) NO BONE-IN CHICKEN

1 can Cream of Chicken Soup 

2 tbsp mustard

2 tbsp honey

½ tsp of garlic powder

½ cup water

In a large bowl mix soup, honey, mustard, garlic powder and water.

In a deep skillet, place chicken pieces. Now the recipe on the can says to brown it using one tbsp of oil, but I’m not a big fan of frying anything. Besides, it tastes just as good without frying it. Also, I find frying it first puts a bit of a ‘skin’ on it, which keeps the chicken from absorbing the sauce.  

Pour the soup mixture over the chicken and simmer on low/medium heat (3 or 4).

Another good thing I like about this recipe, is that I can go and fix other things for supper, without having to watch it. I let the food simmer for 20 minutes or until the chicken is cooked completely through. That’s the important part. Make sure the chicken is not pink. The can says to sauté veggies and mix in with the sauce. I didn’t care for that. I found this was more of a meat sauce than anything else.

Serve with veggies and side of your choice. If you try this recipe, let me know what you think. I love it.

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