Saturday, December 13, 2014

Ginger the Elf, week 3

Has it only been three weeks since we started this? I will admit, I am running out of places to stash poor little Ginger where Salean can look but not touch! But, this week went so fast, I almost forgot it was Saturday night and with another week over, time for a Ginger update! 


Sunday morning, Ginger was peeking through the branches of the tree, looking at a puppy she brought last week!


This morning, she brought an ornament made of string! Salean thought it was boring and let me put it on the tree right away,


Monday, she was caught hanging out on the coat rack. Salean didn't seem to see her much, but she found the bag with her ornament in it quite quick!


This one we made last year, Salean's hand print at one year old! Another that didn't interest her much...plain baubles must be boring!


Tuesday, Ginger hung out in our laundry room, in a box of spare parts and instruction books.


And she brought this oldie, one I received when I was a child; a character from an 80's cartoon. It was banged up before Salean got hold of it, but she had to shake it multiple times to hear the bell ring. She also tried to steal the present! She reluctantly surrendered it after being told "no no" a few times.


Wednesday, Ginger hung out on top of Daddy's sword again. Salean spotted her right away and went back several times that day.


Today's gift is a little Tim's coffee cup, this was a great plaything! She immediately ran to her corner kitchen and started playing coffee. 


I had to sneak the cup away and onto the tree during breakfast. Thankfully, she didn't miss it. 


Thursday, we were back in the laundry, this time hanging out in the lint bag. She is peeking around the corner towards Salean's bedroom.


Salean received a little teddy bear this morning, but would not let it go! She stashed it and then eventually took it to bed with her that night. So, in it's place her first Christmas ornament adorns the tree. I decided not to let her have it, as it looks pretty fragile.


Friday was another day hanging out in the tree, this time on the very top! 



Ginger brought a star for the tree. It replaced her at the top that night, as this was another Little Miss was reluctant to give up! 


This morning, Ginger was found in the pocket of my apron, maybe next time she will bring some cookies along!


A plain white bauble came with her, and I guess I should retract my earlier statement about them being boring, because this was the most fascinating ornament of the week! Thankfully it is quite sturdy, because it was bounced, knocked, rolled on everything and even got a few licks! I had to sneak this one away, to, so it landed on the tree after bedtime.

So that is another week over, so hard to believe Christmas is only a week and a half away! And, another week with no baby sister...I am officially due in 2 days, so it won't be long now!!

Have a good weekend, everyone!

~Natasha.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Ginger the Elf, Week 2.

Week number two with Ginger the Elf has come to a close, here is a recap of her exploits this week! 


Sunday morning, Ginger was hanging out around the backdoor. Salean had a hard time finding her because she was down the hall. 


Monday December 1st, Ginger brought our Christmas tree! It is a small one that we were given last year, To keep little fingers out of it, it is perched in a window between the kitchen and living room. 


Tuesday morning, Ginger started bringing ornaments for our tree! She will be doing this every day until Christmas. Last year, we just hung them on the wall for Salean to open each day, our homemade Advent calendar. 


Day one, Ginger brought a little clay puppy to hang on the tree. Salean was quite excited about this! 


Wednesday morning, Ginger was found hanging from the door frame of Salean's room, peeking in on her sleeping! Ginger left her decoration gift on the doorknob, which was found very quickly! 


This morning, she left an original My Little Pony. We played with it for a litle bit before hanging it on the tree.


Thursday morning, Ginger was hanging from the electrical panel door. Her gift hung from the doorknob of the bathroom, which is close by. I didn't think  Salean had seen it on her way by, but after being up half an hour or so, she suddenly stopped what she was doing and ran to get it! 


This one was a clay ornament from last year, for baby's first Christmas. 


Friday morning, Ginger got caught in the blinds! Salean thought this was quite funny and had to point her out all day! 


Ginger brought a special ornament this day, it is a little bell angel that she received from an Aunt last Christmas. It is the first in a series that Auntie plans on buying for her each year. 


This morning, Ginger was hanging out on the calendar. Salean tried to grab her as we went out, as it is just inside the front door! 


This morning, Ginger brought a little Santa ornament. Salean loved this one and we had to chase her so we could put it on the tree! 

So, week two is done, as is week one of our makeshift Advent calendar. Another week is done, which is another week closer to baby coming, ten more days until she is due! 

Have a good week, everyone!!

~Natasha. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Puppy Chow Pretzels

Until I started wandering the Pintrest boards, the only Puppy Chow I had heard of was the type you pour into a bowl on the floor for your dog. Once I found a few recipes, I was intrigued. But, I have yet to try the recipes because Chex cereal is difficult to find around here and when it can be found, it isn't cheap. This changed last week.

I logged into my Blogger account and among the list of blogs I follow, I found THIS delicious looking concoction on the Confessions of a Cookbook Queen blog. Pretzels are easily obtainable and quite cheap at the Bulk store, so I kept the recipe in the back of my head until I got to town to buy the ingredients. 


I quickly realized I hadn't bought enough pretzels (for some reason I thought it called for only 4 cups. I will chalk that memory slip up to pregnancy brain). So, I halved the recipe and dove in. 


I only had to microwave the chocolate-peanut butter concoction one minute, probably because there wasn't as much as in the original recipe. It went smooth with just a quick stir. While it microwaved, I planned on getting the powdered sugar measured and the pans ready...but one minute is quicker than it seems! I ended up dividing it into three bags because the ones I had were so small; while I lined pan number 1, the mixture sat in the first bag soaking up the sugar. Therefore, this pan didn't quite turn out as I had hoped. 


The second and third pans I put the sugar in the bottom of the bag instead of on top of the pretzels, I had figured on the first bag some of the sugar had stuck to the chocolate on the inside of the bag, causing the first pan's lack of sugar. These two pans turned up much nicer, and I re-sugared the first pan after. 


So, the verdict? Absolutely delicious! If I can get back to the Bulk store, I will grab more pretzels and make a full batch for my Mom's Christmas Eve. Mr Picky didn't want to try it because he does not like pretzels, and little miss is in bed, so this batch is all mine! :-) 

Have a good weekend, everyone!! 

~Natasha. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Meet Ginger!

Last week, we had a new friend join us for the Christmas season: Ginger, the Elf on the Shelf! Salean has a cousin who has had an elf named Ralph visit the last couple of years, and Ralph comes out the day after the local Santa Clause Parade, so we decided to do the same to avoid confusion with the kids. The parade was last Saturday night, and so Ginger made her debut Sunday morning.

I gave Salean the accompanying book Saturday afternoon,we read through it and she spent the day looking at the pictures. I tried to reiterate that we do not touch elf! Since she is to young to understand the naming process, we decided to call her Ginger in case little sister gets her own elf someday, we can give it a matching spice name. Here are Ginger's antics during our first week!


Sunday morning, Ginger was sitting primly on top of a box of tissues on my messy shelf. We read through the book again and I asked Salean to find the elf. She pointed out Ginger surprisingly quickly! She reached out, but I reminded her of the story and "Santa said no touching". She went on with her day, pointing out Ginger every hour or so. 


Monday morning, Ginger was perched on the blinds. We keep the pull cords up because Little Miss likes to play with them, it made a perfect swing for Ginger! Salean spotted her quite quickly this morning without being asked.


Tuesday morning, Ginger was caught dancing with Bear! I prompted Salean to find elf and she pointed them out. She loves Bear, but we usually keep him up, so another reminder that we could not touch elf made her content. 


Wednesday morning, Ginger was hanging out on Daddy's snake skin sword, which is on top of our television. Salean needed prompting to find elf again, but pointed her out several times during the day. 


Thursday morning, Ginger decided to do an impromptu pole dance on the blinds! Salean kept pointing her out all day, she loved this spot because it was out in the open. 


Friday, Ginger was caught in the blender!! I prompted Salean to find elf, and she did easily, but ignored it the rest of the day. The blender is off to the side on the shelf, so she couldn't see it great from her play area. 


Finally Saturday, this morning, Ginger and her Minions are making an escape! This is an unused hook that hangs in a window between my kitchen and living room, I used clear elastics to tie their hands together. As soon as Salean entered the room she saw them and started pointing and dancing! So far, this has been the most exciting adventure for Ginger and Salean.

So that is week one done. I have something special planned starting the first of December, but I will keep updating Ginger's adventures!

Have a great weekend! 

~Natasha. 

Cheeseburger Casserole

After meal planning for almost 3 months I am finding it harder and harder to find meals that my picky little family will eat, without repeating the same thing over and over. Up until my computer crashed, I kept a file with what we had each week, so I would know how long it has been since we have had shepherd's pie, sloppy joes, etc. We still go out twice a week, once with his family usually for fast food and once for burger night at his Mom's, and so I only have to plan for five nights. I try to get one new meal in a week and pasta only once a week, but it is getting tiresome alternating hamburger and chicken, with only the occasional pork meal or a treat of pizza or bacon sandwiches.

One meal last week was three things: new, pasta and hamburger. I found this Cheeseburger Casserole dish on Pintrest and decided it looked good enough to make, with a couple of picky eaters changes, of course.


I skipped the onions, Mr Picky won't touch anything that has onions in it, and I used garlic powder instead of the real thing (because that was all I had).

My can of tomatoes was Italian, so instead of the steak spice I used a sprinkle of Italian spice to match. I also gave the tomatoes a little run through the food processor for a few seconds, as none of us are wild about chunks of tomato.


This is the yummy concoction before adding the cheese. I was a bit worried that there wasn't enough pasta, but once it got mixed in it turned out fine.


A little toddler portion. Little Miss loved it and ate almost all of this, including the hamburger which she normally picks out! Mr. Picky took one bite and rejected it. He said it tasted funny. I think it was the Dijon, the last time I made a dish with it he wouldn't eat it, either.

I managed to get a serving for myself and Little Miss, two for the freezer (for after baby) and I took one to Mr Picky's Mom, who also loved it!

Other than it being a little vinegary (from he ketchup and mustard) I loved it. This dish whipped up quite quickly and easily while I made a batch of rolls to go with it. I think it will go onto the make again file, or at least on an evening that Mr isn't home!

Have a good day, everyone!!

~Natasha


Friday, November 28, 2014

Hiya!

I can't believe it has been almost two months...and I really can't believe that Monday is December!! It has been a long two months, I have been having computer problems that (hopefully) are behind me now. We have had our first good snowstorm, and a couple of smaller flurries. I have tried many new recipes, taken quite a few pictures, and have lots to share!

I will hopefully have a few posts over the next few days and then start posting regularly again, or at least until baby arrives, she's due in 18 days!! Everything is ready for baby sister, we are just waiting for her arrival!

See you soon!

~Natasha.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

"Suntella" Chocolate Spread

A few weeks ago, I ran to the library and quickly grabbed a few new cook books. One of them was called Real Food for Real Families. I was in a rush, so I didn't really look at it until I got it home, but I had grabbed it thinking it was normal every day recipes for families. Something my fussy couple might actually eat! When I got a chance to look at it, I realized it is a book of home made recipes to replace all the store bought goodies we usually feed our kids. I picked out a few recipes, but this was the first that I got around to trying. This is to replace Nutella, which it shows to be full of sugar and artificial flavours. 

I didn't buy enough sunflower butter so I halved the recipe. As well, there were no storage suggestions with the recipe, so I am keeping it in the fridge since there is milk in it. The full recipe is below. 


1 cup Sunflower seed butter
4 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup almond, soy or cow's milk
1/4 cup liquid honey
2 tsp vanilla extract

In food processor, combine all ingredients and process until blended, thinning to spreadable consistency with more milk, if necessary. 


Putting it on store bought white bread probably throws the all natural breakfast out the window, but baby steps :-) It kind of looks nasty, but isn't that bad. I wasn't crazy about the taste of the sunflower butter, though, so I find this tastes a bit off. Just as an FYI, I found the sunflower butter at the Bulk Barn, a bulk store that we have here. I suppose you could probably find it in the natural foods isle of your supermarket as well. It surprisingly looks and smells a lot like peanut butter. 


Just because I wasn't crazy about it does not mean a thing, I guess, because my little weirdo LOVES it!! I've given it to her several times for both breakfast and snack and she almost cleans her plate each time. 


Yum! She also loves the sunflower butter alone on toast, so I went back and got some more today. Sure, she won't eat anything normal like a carrot or pea, but give her unusual things like cranberries, couscous, or sunflower butter and she gobbles them up! Crazy kid. 

I have all the ingredients for at least one more recipe in this book, homemade goldfish crackers, now I just have to get the time and energy to get it made! Only ten more weeks until I become a Momma of two (under two for a few weeks!) so there is lots to do, especially since we finally found a job opportunity and Mr Picky may be going away for three weeks at a time after Thanksgiving, which is next weekend!!

Pitter patter, best get at 'er, as they say!

Have a good weekend, everyone!

~Natasha.