Thursday, March 29, 2012

Our Easter Tree!

Just a quick little mid week after school, Little Miss and I decorated our tree. Last year we didn't have this tree to decorate like we did at our old house. Besides the frigid temperatures, we did have fun!!

LIttle Easter Tree

If you missed my post last year about the Easter Tree, take a peek at it! So interesting and very beautiful!!!

Enjoy the rest of your week!!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Easy Dinner Alert!!

Back in September when we were in New Orleans for our business trip, we met other employees from our company that were working at the conference booth.

So Hubby and I met Landon, a really nice girl (young lady) who lived fairly close by. A newlywed and a fellow blogger! She and I chatted about our blogs and exchanged sites. I was browsing her site, Dine with a Darling,  a few weeks ago and came across an older post for 'Italian Stuffed Peppers'!


So I finally got all the ingredients bought and tonight was the night!!  I wasn't sure Little Miss would eat it with the sausage, as she usually only eats a 1/2 a maple sausage for breakfast when we make them.  But to my surprise it was a hit with the whole family! Even Bailey (the cat) enjoyed 2 bites of sausage and orzo!! My little Italiano kitty!

Anyway, the recipe was super easy, you could probably even make the filling (minus the egg) the night before and then just stuff and cook them the night you want them. We were so hungry tonight and ready to eat, that I didn't remember until afterward and only got one picture of them!

Italian Stuffed Peppers

1 cup uncooked orzo pasta -1 1/2 cups if you want some extra
2 cups cooked Italian sausage - 4 large links, I used 5 because they were like that in the package
1 cup mozzarella cheese
1 ½ cups parmesan/asiago/romano blend of cheeses
Italian parsley (1/2 cup chopped fresh or 3 tablespoons dried-I just used regular parsley
1 egg beaten
garlic salt and pepper to taste
6 red peppers - yellow or orange would work too - I only used 3 peppers and put the rest of the filling into my glass 'loaf' pan and cooked it
your favorite spaghetti sauce - I just bought a jar of PC Marinara
  1. Cook orzo pasta to package directions (boil water, cook pasta for about 15 minutes and strain)
  2. Remove Italian sausage from casing and cook in pan over medium (I also added a bit of Italian seasoning that I found at Rouses to the sausage.  Spicy Italian sausage would be great too…)
  3. Wash peppers, cut stem end off and remove seeds
  4. Rub peppers inside and out with extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with garlic salt
  5. Toss cooked orzo, cooked Italian sausage, all cheeses, Italian parsley and the beaten egg into bowl and mix together with your hands
  6. Stuff the 6 peppers with orzo mixture
  7. In large baking dish (clear Pyrex or the like) pour some Grandad’s Gravy or your favorite spaghetti sauce in bottom of the pan
  8. Place stuffed peppers in the dish over sauce and top peppers with more spaghetti sauce
  9. Cover pepper pan with aluminum foil and bake at 350 for about 45 minutes
  10. Remove foil from pan, top peppers with more parmesan/asiago/romano cheese mixture and continue baking until cheese melts (about 15 minutes)

Landon has some other yummy sounding recipes too , I encourage you to take a browse through her blog!!


Friday, March 23, 2012

Maple Syrup

In our neck of the woods, it is now the season...the sap is starting to flow!!


Maple Syrup...what a wonderful can put it on your pancakes and waffles, make salad dressing with it and bake with it!!  In most of my Mom's muffin recipes, she has substituted equal parts of white sugar for maple syrup and they always taste great!! It's a much healthier sweet than white has lots of great minerals in there! (I'll share a muffin recipe another day)

Usually around spring break is when the sap starts to flow, the sugar bushes are open for school visits and to the public. Our spring break this year was super warm and I would assume really got the sap running!

There are a couple of Sugar Bushes close by to us that we have visited with Little Miss's class as well as, a family. Depending on which one we visit, there is a free self guided tour, or a paid one that takes you through the history of Maple Syrup with all these different little stations. Each place has somewhere you can sit and eat pancakes with their syrup and order other breakfast items. It's a nice Saturday morning out!


I had this salad at a friend's place quite some time ago and thought I'd share it with you!!

Corinne's Maple Pecan Salad

Heat 1 cup of pecans in a large, non-stick fry pan on medium heat for a couple of minutes...add 2-3 tbsp of maple syrup over pecans and make sure all are coated...continue to heat until syrup evaporates (pecans will have a powdery look to them). Cool and refrigerate until ready to use.

Spring mix, clean as much as you need
Dried sweetened cranberries, 1/2 to 1 cup depending on size of salad
Grated Asiago cheese, add enough to taste

1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup oil (I like to use Grapeseed oil)
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt
fresh ground pepper to taste

Wait to add the dressing until you are ready to serve to keep the greens crisp!


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

6 months!!

So we are definitely into the home stretch now!!  It is hard to believe that I am already 6 months along...although I am starting to feel like it!! This belly of mine is growing and the kicking is getting harder!! A soccer player I think!

6 months
The basement wall has just been painted by my wonderful Hubby...It is Spring Break for Little Miss, so she and I have hit the road and headed north to my Mom's for part of the week. At home we have NO hasn't lasted more than about 3 days whenever it has snowed. So Little Miss has been happily playing outside in Grammie's 2 feet + of snow each day.  They only problem is that the warm weather has hit up here too and it is quickly melting!  Making a bit of a wet, soppy Little Miss, but she is having fun anyway!

Wall primed and ready to go!

This was the progress report Hubby sent me :)

Little Miss enjoying the snow!

Our time up north is almost over...the 3 girls will head south in a couple of days back to Niagara and then Grammie hops on a jet plane to the sunny south. I want to crawl inside her suitcase and go too!!  I am ready for a beach fix!!  Plus, there are WAY cuter maternity and baby clothes down there!! The colours are so dark and muted up here (for maternity clothes anyway)...I am ready for the soft blues, greens, pinks and fun colours!!  

This is what I'm taking about!! (Pinterest)
A pregnant Mama could definitely wear this!

Thank goodness for JOE Fresh clothing (at a grocery store chain here in Canada), they have some cute summer tops that are inexpensive and will work for a growing belly!

Our next mission will be to get the baby's room I mentioned in a previous post, it is the only room in the house that didn't get painted when we moved in. We I have a pretty good idea of how it will come together, now we just have to do the work!

Enjoy the rest of your Spring Break!!

Excited for her baby sister this summer!

P.S.  Little Miss comes to the front door and says...'I need some help to get my boot!'  I look down at her feet and there is one pink boot and one very wet had walked from the back to the front in the wet snow and slush to come get help!!  So can you not laugh at that...

The boot that almost got away!! I did have
to dig it out, it was down in there pretty good!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Salad #2

Ok, so call it pregnancy hormones...I'm a cheater this week...I have switched to a new salad and it has my taste buds wanting more!!!

Again, it's not a secret recipe. The flavours are perfectly paired with the sun that is shining and the small signs that spring isn't as far off as we think!!!

We were invited over to dinner to our good friends and I asked if I could bring something. I was told a salad, so I started to think about which yummy one I could bring!  Most of my yummy salads come from this household, I needed something different!!

So I came up with a Mandarin Almond Salad with a Poppy Seed Dressing.


It had been a busy day and I basically had enough time to put the salad together and just grab the 'Kraft' Poppyseed Dressing out of the refrigerator!  I just wasn't satisfied with 10 minutes before we left, I hit the internet and found this recipe and whipped it up.  I even made Hubby stop at the grocery store on the way to dinner to get the poppy seeds!

Mandarin Almond Salad with a Poppy Seed Dressing

*Your favourite greens (I used red leaf lettuce and baby spinach)
*Toasted, sliced almonds (watch them carefully when you toast them, they turn quickly and can burn! You just want them slightly golden)
*Sliced green onions (1-2 onions depending on how much you like - green tops too)
*Chopped celery (1-2 sticks)
*Can of mandarin oranges (drained)

Dressing  4 servings
4 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp vegetable oil (I used grapeseed oil)
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
1 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 tsp sugar (I used maple syrup and probably a bit more
Salt & Pepper to taste

***I did find the olive oil a little heavy in flavour, so the next time I will probably do 2-3 tbsp of the olive oil and the rest being the grapeseed, as long as it adds up to the 5 tbsp of oil***

***I toasted the almonds on a cookie sheet in the oven at 350 for probably less than 10 mins...start watching them closely around 5-6 minutes***

Whisk all ingredients together in a bowl and pour over salad a few minutes before serving (making sure dijon mustard is completely mixed in with other ingredients)

I took the salad and it was a hit!  I did also take the 'Kraft' dressing, just in case someone preferred it instead of the homemade (one being Hubby). That's ok, more for me!!!  :)

I wasn't sure how this salad would go over, so I didn't even think about taking a picture of it!!
Sorry!  I will do better next time!


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