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Friday, 30 September 2011

Packing A Healthy Lunch

Today I was reading my email newsletter Losing It with Jillian Michaels.  There is always an interesting article about someones success, a healthy recipe, tips and sometime exercises.  Today she posted an awesome recipe for Italian Pork Pita Pockets, that sound so delicious.  Being that I am trying harder and harder to pack my own lunch for work, all part of the trying to live a healthier lifestyle, which lately hasn't been going very well.  Oh well I am not going to get down on myself, it is just time to start over again.  I am a huge fan of the Clean Eating Magazine which has wonderful articles and recipes.  The magazine even has a two week menu for you to follow as well.  I have tried a few different recipes from the Clean Eating Magazine and they have been a hit with my family.  The nice thing about preparing our meals and lunches, we know exactly what we are eating unlike fast food and pre-packaged meals, no hidden ingredients. 

I am going to have to give these Pita Pockets a try.....maybe this weekend.

 Italian Pork Pita Pockets
  • 1 large red onion, cut into 8 wedges and separated
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 8 boneless pork loin chops, 2 oz. each
  • 2 green bell peppers, each pepper cut into 8 lengthwise strips
  • 2 portobello mushrooms, cut into 8 slices and separated
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seed
  • 8 100% whole wheat pitas, cut into halves
  • 4 slices part-skim mozzarella cheese, 1 oz. slices, cut in half

  1. Heat oven to broil.
  2. Coat a large baking pan with cooking spray. Arrange pork chops and vegetables in a single layer on baking pan.
  3. In a small bowl, combine balsamic vinegar, olive oil, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and fennel seed. Brush mixture on both sides of pork chops.
  4. Broil 5 to 6 inches from heat for about 6 to 10 minutes, or until pork is browned and vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove from oven and divide pork and vegetables among pita pocket breads.
  5. Add 1 slice of cheese to each sandwich and enjoy!
Makes 8 sandwiches (4 servings).

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Total Time: 15 mins

Nutrition Facts
Number of Servings: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 240
Total Fat: 8 g
Saturated Fat: 3 g
Cholesterol: 75 mg
Sodium: 280 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 21 g
Protein: 21 g

Sunday, 25 September 2011

A Present For Tilda

Here it is the 25th of September, only 3 months until Christmas Day!  I better get started making my Christmas Lists and my Christmas Card list. Today I'd like to share with you one of my latest Christmas Cards that I made back in early June.  So grab yourself a coffee, tea or what ever you prefer and enjoy the is a bit long.

For this card I once again used a brown lunch bag for the base of my card, I really like this style of card, allows me to add in our family Christmas letter into the back pocket.  I can even pop in a couple of photos or a gift card into the pocket too.
For the front of my card I used Santa Hands Out Presents, Old Bench and Winter Forest and dark brown card stock.  All images are colored in Copics (sorry I don't have the numbers I used as I colored this a couple of months back).  I flocked the fur trim on Santa's suit and filled in his glasses with Diamond Glaze.
Here is a close up of Santa sitting on the bench with a parcel in his hands for Tilda.  Here you can see how the Diamond Glaze on his glass look like glass lenses.
On the inside of my card I used Secret Tilda, colored in copics (sorry I don't have the numbers I used as I colored this a couple of months back).  I edged the lace on her outfit with Stickles in Diamond.  I used a digital desgin paper that I found on line, dk brown card stock and white cardstock that I can either stamp or hand write a Christmas Greeting on.
Here is a close up of Secret Tilda.  Secret Tilda is one of my favorite Tilda's, it is so hard to pick an absolute favorite as they are all so darn cute.
For all your Magnolia stamp needs head over to see Diana at Magnolia-licious.  The service is wonderful and if you don't see a Magnolia image that you are looking for in stock drop Diana a quick email, she will do her best to help you out.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed your visit.  Have a wonderful day!


Saturday, 24 September 2011

Kai In The Snow

In keeping up with my Christmas Cards I want to share with you Kai In The SnowKai In The Snow is a digital image from  Mo's Digital Pencil.  This is one of my favorite digital images from Mo.  Kai reminds me of my son when he was a little boy.  He had a blue snow suit similar to the one Kai wears.

At this time the inside of the card is left blank.  I am looking for the right verse/greeting to go with the image on the front.
Kai is printed on Neenah Cardstock and colored in Copics.  The base of my card is a brown paper lunch bag.  All my Christmas Cards so far are made with the lunch bag as the base...can add our letter into the back pocket.  The design paper is from my stash.  I picked up the foam snowflakes at the dollar store last Christmas.  I added iridescent glitter to the snowflakes to make them pop.  I used FlowerSoft for the falling snowflakes and the snow that Kai is sitting in.
Just a quick close up of the snowflakes to show you how they sparkle like the real thing.  I love how fresh fallen snow glistens like diamonds in the snow.



 The day has finally arrived.....for me to make up a batch of Sandwich Spread.  I haven't made this sandwich spread for many years.  I got this recipe from a old family friend of my dad's after I had tasted hers.  I am kind of rethinking the idea of having a garden.  I hope to still make up a batch of relish this year as well and if time allows I would love to make up a batch of salsa.  Wednesday I will pick up my cabbages to blanch for cabbage rolls, then will have the kids out to help make cabbage rolls.  So off to make sandwich spread on this beautiful fall day, hope to get it done before the football game starts.  Our Saskatchewan Roughriders vs the BC Lions in Saskatchewan.  We need a win today. 



Thursday, 22 September 2011

Homemade Pita Chips

 1 bag of large pitas (usually holds 8-10) - the kind that can be used for sandwich pockets
extra virgin olive oil - for brushing the pita tops
dried herbs - I like mixed Italian or Oregano
cayenne pepper or paprika - sweet or spicy is up to you
garlic powder
 Preheat the oven to broil and place a rack in the middle of the oven.

Cut pitas in half cross-wise, and then split halves so that there is a rough side and a baked side. Keep the rough side up to absorb the olive oil.

Cut pita halves into 3-4 wedges per half.

Place wedges on foil-lined cookie sheets and brush with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic, herbs and cayenne or paprika.

Place the cookie sheet in the oven with the door ajar. This doesn’t take very long, just a couple of minutes. You need to watch them …they burn quickly.


Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Mexican Quinoa

1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 1/2 cups black beans
1 cup corn, thawed
1 tomato, seeded and diced
1/2 red onion, slivered
2 tablespoons pickled jalapeño, diced
4 corn tortillas
1/4 cup lime juice
1/2 – 1 chipotle chilie in adobo sauce (The dish will be HOT if you use 1)
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey or agave nectar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 avocado, diced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, black beans, corn, tomato, red onion and pickled jalapeño.
Slice corn tortillas into thin strips. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil and add tortilla strips. Spray again. Sprinkle with salt and pepper if desired. Bake for 10-15 minute, until crispy. (Check often to make sure the tortillas don’t burn – I was using homemade tortillas and they took closer to 15 minutes. I’m guessing store bought may not take as long.)

Meanwhile, in a blender or food processor, combine lime juice, chipotle Chile, garlic, cilantro, olive oil, honey or agave nectar, cumin and sea salt. Process until mixture is smooth. Toss with quinoa mixture.
Plate quinoa and top with avocado and tortilla strips. (If making ahead, wait to put avocado and tortilla strips on at the last minute. Store leftover tortilla strips in an air tight bag, and return to oven to crisp if desired prior to serving.)
Preparation time: 30 minute(s)
Cooking time: 15 minute(s)

For more recipes using Quinoa check out Cooking Quinoa by clicking HERE be sure to sign up for the free newsletter too.


Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Peach & Raspberry Terrine with Mascarpone Drizzle

390g pound cake, sliced in thirds horizontally
3 cups Europe’s Best Raspberries, thawed
½ cup sugar, divided

475g tub of mascarpone cheese, divided
3 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup Europe’s Best Sun Ripe Peaches, thawed
3 tbsp milk

Line an 8 ½” x 4 ½” loaf pan with plastic wrap, leaving enough to hang over sides. 

Combine raspberries and 1 tbsp sugar in bowl. In separate bowl, mix 1 ½ cups cheese, milk and remaining sugar. Arrange peaches in bottom of prepared pan. Top with 1/3 of raspberry mixture, 1/3 of cheese mixture and 1 layer of cake. Continue layers ending with cake. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and chill at least 2 hours. 

Drizzle: combine remaining mascarpone cheese with 3 tbsp milk. Add additional milk if necessary to achieve a liquid texture. To serve, invert Terrine onto platter and remove wrap. Slice and garnish with drizzle. 

Serve immediately.


Monday, 19 September 2011

Stuffed Shells

  • 3 cups tomatoes, chopped
  • 12 ounces roasted red peppers
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 3 cups corn kernels
  • 16 ounces whole wheat large pasta shells
  • 12 ounces low fat ricotta cheese
  • 3 ounces goat cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chives, chopped fine
  • 1 large egg, beaten (or 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds + 2 tablespoons water)
  • 3 ounces mozzarella cheese
  1. In a large saucepan, combine tomatoes, roasted red peppers, rosemary, oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes, sea salt and black pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat and then reduce to medium low and cook for 20 minutes. Allow to cool slightly. (Until cool enough to handle.) Transfer to a blender. Add parsley and process until smooth.
  2. Meanwhile, preheat a broiler. Prepare a rimmed baking sheet with olive oil spray and add corn. Toss to coat. Cook eight to ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Reduce heat to 350 degrees. Cook pasta shells according to package directions. Rinse with cool water and drain. In a large bowl, combine ricotta, goat cheese, chives, egg and half of the corn. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread a cup of sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 13 baking dish. Fill shells with mixture. Place in pan and top with remaining sauce, corn and mozzarella cheese.
  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes. 
  6. Allow to cool prior to serving.

For more recipes from Wendy check out her website at  My family has always enjoyed my high calorie recipe for Stuffed Shells, it is so nice to have found someone that has modified a recipe without sacrificing taste.  I wanted to share this recipe with anyone that would like to try a healthier version to a pasta favorite. 


Thursday, 15 September 2011

Where Oh Where....

   ....Has summer gone???
                 Didn't it just start???

It sure feels like summer just started a couple of weeks ago and here we are at the close of it. The leaves on the trees are starting to change color - one of the first signs that autumn is approaching. Another sure sign of autumn fast approaching is that harvest is underway, gardens are bearing abundance of produce, the days are getting shorter and the evenings are getting cooler. Yes summer is drawing to a close whether I am ready for it or not.  Soon it will be time to pull my pond plants, move the fish inside and drain the water off for another year.

Hope to can some relish, sandwich spread and salsa this year. I haven't canned anything in many years. I have cabbage to blanch and get ready for cabbage rolls and perogies to make, all signs that autumn is approaching.

Another sure sign was the heavy frost we got the other night... -5 Celsius boy was it chilly in the morning when you are used the + temperatures of summer.

Changes are happening all around us, preparing for the start of a new season.

Where Oh Where 
         .........Has summer gone???


Saturday, 10 September 2011

French Toast with Praline Topping

Loaf of French Bread 
Cream Cheese (either block of regular or flavored spread)
6 eggs
1 cup milk
1/4  tsp vanilla
1/2 cup Maple Syrup
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 dash salt

Butter an 9 x 13 baking pan.  Slice the french bread, cover bottom of baking pan with french bread.  Cover each slice of the french bread with Philadelphia cream cheese, then place another slice of french bread on top of each bottom piece.  Beat eggs, vanilla, Maple Syrup cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together, pour on top of the bread.  Cover baking pan and set in fridge over night for baking the next morning.

***Praline Topping***
1 cup butter
1 cup packed light brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
2 tablespoons light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Combine all ingredients for Praline Topping in a medium bowl and blend well.  Spread evenly over the bread and bake for 40 minutes, until puffed and lightly golden. Serve with maple syrup.

Note:  I served this a homemade strawberry syrup to complement the strawberry cream cheese that I used for the filing.

This breakfast can be served with fried sausages, bacon or ham.

Thanks Aunty for this recipe....I tweaked the Praline Topping and Strawberry Sryup


Friday, 9 September 2011

Bobby Curtola

Just over a week and half ago my son calls me up and asks, "You like Bobby Curtola, right?" to which I reply yes.  He then asks me, "You met him once didn't you?" to which I again reply yes back in 2004 when he came to meet with our Executive Director for a meeting...hey I spoke to him on the telephone a few times too.  The first time he called our office, he actually sang Corinna, Corinna to me just because my name was Corinne.  Yes I am much younger than he thought I was when we met.  Bobby was a hit back in the 1960's and I was born in the mid 60's.  I always said I grew up in the wrong era....the music from the 50's and 60's were always my favorites growing up.

So anyways back to what I was getting son gave me two tickets to see Bobby Curtola in concert here in PA.  Now the decision -- who do I I asked my husband out on a date....and he accepted.  Your probably wondering why I was shocked he accepted, well I wasn't sure if he would be interested in seeing Bobby Curtola as I wasn't sure if he like his music.  So last night we had our date night....this was another celebration for anniversary.  The concert was excellent.  The band The Sensational Hot Rods - a 50's tribute band were fa-nominal, a lot of talent on stage last night.  A big thank you to our son for getting us tickets to see an amazing Canadian Artist perform live. 

So after the concert Bobby announced before his last performance that he would be signing autographs.  I was 3rd in line to get his autograph again.  Of course my husband was quick to get me in line to meet Bobby....and then Al disappears to have a beer and I didn't get a picture with Bobby, which is what I had wanted.  But I did get to talk to him and he did remember meeting me when he was here for a meeting with my old boss.  So it was catching up with an old friend. 


Thursday, 8 September 2011

Good Morning Sausage And Egg Casserole

1 pound pork breakfast sausages, casings removed
8 slices hearty white bread*, cubed
1 cup mild Cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and freshly ground black pepper
8 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon dry mustard
2 2/3 cups milk

Lightly butter a 12x9x2-inch baking casserole.

In a skillet, cook the sausage meat over medium heat, stirring and breaking it up with a wooden spoon, until it loses its color, about 15 minutes.

Mix bread cubes, sausage and cheese in the large bowl, toss gently.  Transfer mixture to casserole.   Season with salt and pepper.

In a bowl, combine eggs and dry mustard, then pour in milk to blend. Pour mixture over casserole contents. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove casserole from the refrigerator 30 minutes before baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Uncover and gently toss mixture to re-coat the bread on top with the egg mixture. Season with a little salt and pepper and top with extra grated cheese if you like.

Bake until congealed, bubbling and golden yellow on top, about 45 minutes. Serve hot.

* Not sourdough but not off the shelf bread either, too soft; should be a bread from a bakery or grocery store bakery like a baguette or country loaf.


Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Bacon and Egg Casserole

  • Bag of frozen hash browns
  • 1 dozen eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1 cup grated cheese
  • salt and pepper
Fry bacon and break into small pieces (I diced up the bacon prior to cooking). Thaw hash browns in microwave and cook about 6 to 8 minutes on high.
Transfer hash browns to an 8 X 11 inch baking dish sprayed with pam mix in cooked bacon. Break eggs into a bowl, and beat.  Add milk, salt, and pepper.
Pour this mixture over hash browns and bake in preheated 375 F. oven.
Cook for 20 minutes. Top with grated cheese, return to oven and cook until set 15 - 20 more minutes.


Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Family Reunion

Over the Labour Day long weekend we hosted a family reunion of sorts at our place.  Everything went off really well.   We had 23 people at our place throughout the weekend.  The weather cooperated in the fact that it didn't rain and we were able to sit out by the fire in the evening and enjoy the company of each other. 

We got to meet 4 of our nephews, 2 that we met when they were little boys and 2 that we haven't met until this weekend.
The Sheremata Family 
missing a few members some that had to work and some that were unable to come up for the weekend.
 Our nephew Keith and his wonderful family.
 Our niece Jenn and her wonderful family.
 Brittany with Abby! Abby just got out of the vet hospital on Friday and Saturday she was running around playing like nothing was wrong.  We are so happy she is healthy again.
 Stoking the fire!

We are hoping this is the start of an annual event where we can all get together for a weekend of visiting.  Next year we are hoping that everyone can be in attendance.  The last time we were able to take group photo was back in 1988 when we got married.

Next year we will have to get more individual family photos as well as a big group picture.