Monthly Archives: February 2012

They Never Cease To Amaze Me


Kids bounce back. That’s the joy of being a child. Illnesses like pneumonia and ear infections, don’t hold them down for long. My sons are definitely past the road to recovery… they’ve recovered.

Yesterday was my eldest son’s first day back at school after a week. He was very excited. He was so happy to see his friends and teacher. He had a ball at recess. Came home with a “green”. So everyone was happy…or so you’d think.

Around bath time, he starts complaining of sore shins. (He probably wasn’t used to all the running around after being sick for a week.) He hobbles into the bathroom like an old man. I make a joke about him needing crutches which reduces him to tears. Feeling guilty for the joke, I get him a hot water bottle. We get him snuggled into bed and hope for the best.

About half an hour later, we hear him crying and we run upstairs. He is sitting up in bed, tears running down his face, telling us how much his leg hurts and how he needs ice. I massage his leg while my husband sets up the ice pack. We give him a dose of children’s advil.

As we are leaving the room, he starts sobbing again.

I ask, “What’s wrong now?”

He says sadly, “Now, I’ll never get to play hockey” and bursts into fresh tears.

I chuckled on the way downstairs. Honestly, I wish I could see into this kid’s brain and see how his thoughts travel.

I guess my future dream of being a hockey mom are over!

Now,  I’m crying too…..tears of joy.



What Would Ma Ingalls Do?


I have two sick kids at home. One has pneumonia and the other, double ear infections. They were pretty sick but now with the medication kicking in, they are on their way to recovery. This is, of course exactly what I want but with the symptoms lessening, it means their demands, arguments and grumpiness are increasing. On days like these, stuck in the house with two tired grumpy children, I wonder what Ma Ingalls would do.

I don’t know much about Caroline Ingalls but I’m sure that she wouldn’t have let her kids stay all day in their pyjamas. She probably wouldn’t have had cotton swabs or construction paper. She wouldn’t  have had citrus juice to make a treat.

God bless you Mrs. Ingalls. I don’t know how you did it!

Here’s what we did today:

Read some more of The Long Winter

(How long can humans survive on potatoes and brown bread, just asking!)

Then made some easy to eat, practically guilt-free treats

(Citrus Jellies thanks to Every Day Food from Martha Stewart)

Here’s the recipe:

2 cups of orange or grapefruit juice ( I used a mix)

1/2 cup sugar

2 envelopes of gelatin

pour 1/2 cup of juice into a bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over and allow to dissolve.

Pour remaining juice into a pan with the sugar. Bring to a boil just to dissolve sugar. Take off heat and stir in the softened gelatin. Stir to dissolve.

Pour into an 8 x 8 baking pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Cut and serve. Then enjoy.

And did some crafting

(This project comes thanks to Busybee Kids Crafts)

crafting supplies

my example to show the boys

Zeke's snowflakes


Memories of Summer


On these cool, wet February days, it’s hard to imagine that less than 6 months ago we were sitting on the hot beach in New Jersey. Those days are never far from our mind. Our children often bring back the fun we had finding hermit crabs on the beach or seeing dolphins swimming off shore. Another memory fresh in their minds? The boardwalk and fried oreos. Fried oreos and orangeade were big hits with the boys so, we decided to recreate that summer feeling by frying our own oreos. Our inspiration was obviously our trip but also this article in Food Network Magazine:











Who knew you could fry all of these items? The Food Network that’s who.


So we bought some oreos









Made a super simple batter









At first the oil was too hot









But then, perfection










These treats are delicious and over the top. They are slightly crispy on the inside and warm and soft on the inside. Obviously, a “sometimes” food, these fried oreos are definitely something you should try whether you are recreating a New Jersey boardwalk or not.  The next time we are reminiscing about the beach we might try this orangeade recipe from Wikihow.

Don’t let these last days of winter get you down, take a walk down memory lane by creating some great dish that reminds you of the carefree days of summer.

Take That Cupid..


For those of you wondering, we did it! Or at least I did. I was ready for Valentine’s Day early. On Monday night all I had to do was take the cookies out of the freezer and lay out all of the products of our efforts on the table like this:








I thought everything turned out so well. I loved the way the cookies turned out. We didn’t use Martha Stewart’s clipart. Instead we used labels we found online. There are so many other options available. We even made our own french labels. I was so happy with the way they turned out that I can feel a repeat coming on. It helps that I still have almost a full box of paper cd envelopes left!









Hope your Valentine’s Day was as relaxed as ours.

Soule Inspiration


This week, I was inspired by Amanda Blake Soule’s post about her family’s backyard skating rink.

We also considered making a skating rink this year but never got around to it. But really, there’s no need for a backyard rink when the city maintains a beautiful skating park two minutes away.

Saturday morning we made our way to the rink. It was our youngest son’s first time skating. He wore two-blade skates for boots. It was our other son’s first time out on skates this winter. Lucky for us, the  chalet comes with red balance bars for kids. We had a great time. My husband and I didn’t get to do a lot of skating but the kids loved it.











We came home and had hot chocolate and kettle corn. If you haven’t tried this, you should.

Kettle Corn (Food Network Magazine)

3 tbsp vegetable oil

3 tbsp sugar

3/4 cup of popcorn kernels

Put all ingredients in a large pot with lid. Shake over high heat until the kernels stop popping so frequently. Salt and serve.

It is the best salty-sweet snack. Great for warming up on the couch after a morning of skating in the cold.

Now the weather has turned on us. The temperature has warmed up much to the chagrin of us skaters.

Rain, Rain, Go Away…my family and I want to skate today!

V-day in the sticks


Welcome to valentine’s day!! Are you glad it’s almost over? sad it’s almost over? such mixed emotions on a day of love!

We are not big valentine’s day people but you know, once you have children, everything changes. So this year I decided to celebrate a bit, first off by following sistah2’s advice and made this gift for our daycare provider:


So cute!

I decided for supper to make some tomato soup a la jamie paired with some sandwiches. Why tomato soup? Because it’s red of course!!


First step, lots of veggies!


Then throw those roughly chopped veggies into some warm olive oil and cook it.


Once the onions are soft and veggies are shiny and delicious, the tomatoes and stock goes in

Seriously, who wants to buy canned tomato soup ever again?

Boil those veggies


And purée it into goodness once it’s cooled ( adding some fresh basil- I love the smell of fresh basil!)




And the taste test


The bowl was empty and the sandwich gone. I would say it’s a hit.

Next up, opening up the v-day treat.


What else is in there?


Ohhh, he likes it!


The best part was watching him chew and chew on jelly belly- beans.


And chewing….


And now using his finger to try to dislodge the sticky jellybean!


And to finish off the night, one of Nigella Lawson’s fairy cakes.


So delicious, you may end up with some on your face,


Agh, a successful valentine’s day after all. And the best part of all, some beautiful flowers to brighten up those February days. Wishing everyone a Happy Valentine’s Day!


Baking bread with Habs’ forward Max Pacioretty


I was sick this week, with a head cold that made me sound like one of Marge Simpson’s chain-smoking sisters.

Stuck in the house, I decided to make some bread. Luckily, I had some help from Montreal Canadiens‘ forward Max Pacioretty. He was sick too: sick with shame from the way Montreal lost to the last-place in the NHL Eastern Conference Carolina Hurricanes at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Monday night.

We used the basic bread recipe from the Tassajara Bread Book. I love that cookbook. It takes 13 pages to explain in extreme detail how to bake the bread. Max read it quickly so he understood what to do.

While he explained how it was possible for Montreal to beat the Toronto Maple Leafs 5-0 on Saturday night, yet be humiliated by the Hurricanes two days later, I mixed and kneaded the dough.

Max was very impressed by how high the dough rose.

He was so anxious to eat the bread that he wanted to start before it had even been baked!

Max couldn’t believe that it still had to bake for another 30 minutes.

Finally, the bread is done. Max is 6 feet, 2 inches tall, yet this bread towers over him.

Nutella on homemade bread is just the thing a hockey player wants to eat on his day off. Max said he wants to bring a whole loaf of bread and a jar of Nutella to the locker room on Wednesday night to give the Habs the power to beat the Boston Bruins. I know you boys can do it Max!