Saturday, December 29, 2012


My daughter Eren made this tree for our Christmas party this year.  She spent 2 hours working on it but it was worth the trouble!  Added wonderful colours to our table
Apple for the base
Carrot for the middle
Lots of toothpicks
Two different colour grapes
Kale for the bottom

You'll find the pictures at the bottom showing how it was put together
  • Cut the base of the apple.  This is an important step for balance
  • Core the middle of the other side of the apple to balance the carrot in it
  • Cut out a star for the top from using the melon
  • Wash and clean the rest of the fruits as required
  • Stick them on the carrot and the apple to construct the tree
  • Put some kale at the bottom for greenery

Thursday, December 27, 2012


These cookies are from Eren.  Christmas time is her favorite time of the year and she is always looking to do special things.  This is the first set of cookies this year after her night of tree decorations.  We'll have to wait and see what else she will make this year.

3/4 cup peanut butter
1 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup shortening
3 tablespoons milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
1 egg
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
Chocolate-covered mini pretzels
Mini brown M&Ms
Regular-sized red M&Ms

Makes about 40 reindeer cookies
  • Preheat oven to 375°F
  • Combine brown sugar, peanut butter, shortening, milk, and vanilla in large bowl. Beat at medium speed until well blended. Add egg; beat until just blended.
  • In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to creamed mixture at low speed. Mix just until blended.
  • Form dough into 1-inch balls. To make reindeer-shaped cookies, pinch the bottom of the ball slightly to form a point, then gently flatten with your hand. Space cookies about 2 inches apart on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 7 to 8 minutes, until set or just beginning to brown.
  • Remove from oven and immediately (and gently) press two mini pretzels into the tops of the cookies for the reindeer's antlers. Press two mini brown M&Ms in for the eyes and one red M&M for the nose (or any other color... some of mine ended up with green noses. They might be South Pole reindeer.).
  • Allow to cool 2 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack or paper towel to cool completely.

Friday, December 21, 2012


These cookies are Serah's specialty cookies because they were the very first cookies she made on her own years ago.  They are delicious.  She made them with chocolate chips.  They are also very good without them or with other things like blueberries. 

3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
1/2 cup chocolate chips

Makes 30 cookies
  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • In a small bowl, combine 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon. Set aside.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
  • In a large bowl, mix the 1 1/2 cups sugar, butter, shortening, and eggs. Stir in the dry ingredients. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • Make small balls (size of a large walnut). Roll balls in the sugar/cinnamon mixture. Place 2 inches apart on non-stick cookie sheets.
  • Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Immediately remove from sheets and cool completely on a wire rack
Note: You can substitute cream of tartar and baking soda with 2 teaspoon of baking powder.  It will make softer cookies

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Breakfast isn't just good for breakfast, sometimes it is a good change for dinner too.  Especially around Christmas time when there is so much goodies during the day and so much to do after work that you need an easy to make dinner.  Here is an idea, eggs in buns.  Quick to make and cooked to my liking (white is perfectly cooked but yolk is runny)
Buns (I use whole wheat)
Cheese (any kind will do.  Mozerella is always good)
Salt and pepper
  • Preheat oven to 350
  • Make a "hole" big enough for a slice of cheese and an egg in the bun
  • Line a pan with cooking paper
  • Put a thin slice of cheese and place it in the bottom of the "hole"
  • Break open an agg on top of the cheese
  • Cook in the oven until the white is fully cooked (approx. 20 minutes)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012


Fish is not a popular meal in my family.  It is really good for you so I force everyone to have it once every couple of weeks.  The only fish they are even willing to eat is Salmon but they are now sick of the same old recipes.  I saw this one on my friend's blog:

I made some minor changes because I had more fish than her instructions.  It was delicious!!! I would highly recommend it.  We truly enjoyed it.  This recipe is a keeper for sure.   I am publishing with my changes.

To Caramelize the Leek:
3 large Leeks (a bunch)
3 tablespoons of cooking oil
1.5 tablespoons butter
1 or 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 big piece of Salmon (I cut it into 8 serving pieces
Salt, black pepper and red pepper on the salmon (don't omit the paprika.  It gives it a nice red colour)
  • Wash and clean the leek.  Remove outside skins.  Cut them lengthwise (approx 5-6 cm length). 
  • Put water in a large container.  Add a teaspoon salt and a teaspoon white vinegar.
  • Add Leek and more water into the container to cover the Leek. 
  • Vinegar will get rid of the bacteria and salt will remove dirt
  • Set aside for 15 minutes
  • When ready, rise with cold water and drain
  • In a large pan add oil and butter.  Add Leak and cook in medium heat until soft
  • Add salt and brown sugar and cook until some of the Leek turns brown.  Cover and set aside
  • Sprinkle Salmon with salt, black pepper and paprika. 
  • Preheat oven to 400 and cook Salmon for 40 to 45 minutes (or to your liking)
  • Add a couple of tablespoons of the Leek on each piece of Salmon and leave in the oven for 5 minutes until the Leek heats up.  I skipped this step and heated the Leek and put on the fish as I served as some people like it on the side.

Saturday, December 1, 2012


This is my first introduction to Kale.  Needless to say, I am just learning how healthy it is for you.  It not only has vitamins K, C, A but it also has calcium, magnesium, and more.  I chose this simple recipe for my introduction and fell in love with it.  I guarantee a Kale salad will be my lunch at least for the next couple of weeks for sure.  Why for 2 weeks you ask.. because I plan to lose a couple of pounds just before Christmas so I can eat all the goodies and gain it all back before new years.  I will then go back on my diet to lose some more :-)  Joking aside, it will give me the opportunity to try other interesting salad recipes.

2 cups washed, dried Kale
1 or 2 hard boiled egg
1 medium sized carrot, graded
1/3 cup graded Parmesan
1/3 cup almonds

3-4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
Sea salt
  • Wash and dry the Kale
  • Cut out the hard roots in the middle and thinly chop the leaves
  • Hard boil the egg and cut up lengthwise into 6 pieces for each
  • Mix together Kale, 2/3 of graded carrot, graded Parmesan and almonds
  • Top with remaining graded carrots, graded Parmesan cheese, almonds and sliced eggs
  • Prepare sauce by mixing all the ingredients and making sure the salt is melted
  • Add the dressing just before you serve the salad
  • Don't forget to praise yourself for making such a healthy salad and Enjoy!
Here is a picture of Kale: