Another Easter

Happy Easter! Today is Good Friday and I have the day off work. I will have Sunday off as well. This morning I chopped vegetables and seared some stewing beef and threw them into the slow cooker for tonight’s dinner with my sister and father. Bread is baking in the bread maker. And I made a batch of “spicy dads” cookies. Mmm, the house smells delicious!


Cadbury mini-eggs


I’m looking forward to visiting with my family tonight. I haven’t seen my dad since February, or maybe January? I can’t remember, and that is very sad. He says he is looking forward to hearing my stories about Jamaica and Las Vegas. Same with my sister, who is almost thirty weeks pregnant, which is unbelievable! My youngest sister comes home from college this weekend so hopefully Jordan and I will be able to go over to my mom’s for a visit on Sunday.


Spicy dads


I still haven’t finished writing the post about our trip to Jamaica, but it will eventually get finished. And then I’ll post some photos from our adventures in Las Vegas, Nevada from the beginning of the month! We have been incredibly lucky to be able to go on all these trips and I love sharing our stories and photos. 🙂

Raise your glass *

Okay I know I still haven’t finished my posts about our trip to Europe from October, but I have been busy! I do plan on finishing the posts. 🙂 I also have a ton of photos from Jamaica that I would like to post as well. Jamaica was great! However, I never expected to go to the Caribbean and feel cold. Most of the days I wore long-sleeves because the breeze made me shiver and I was constantly covered in goose bumps. There was a bit of rain off and on throughout the beginning of the week we were there, but the last two days were absolutely beautiful and hot! So stay tuned for some upcoming travel posts…


Gift basket from Nancy & George


This weekend my good friend Nancy and her boyfriend George drove up for a visit. I hadn’t seem them since our wedding in August 2009. They arrived Saturday around lunch-time and we ended up spending the afternoon at the mall shopping. Poor George was so bored but Nancy and I really like to shop together! Then we went out for a quick bite to eat at Quizno’s. After eating we picked up my sister and came back to the house to hang out and snack on veggies with dip and crackers and cheese. While the boys played “Halo: Reach”, we baked a batch of Skor cookies. And then we sat down to eat the country chicken stew I had thrown into the slow cooker that morning.


Skor cookies

Moose steak

Candle holder from Bath & Body Works


On Sunday, we exchanged something at the mall and then headed downtown. We were lucky to have such nice weather this weekend. The sun was out and although the air was crisp, it definitely felt like spring was on its way. Found some used movies at “Chumleigh’s”. Drank green tea and a pumpkin spice latte from Starbucks. And then back home. I started to prepare shepherd’s pie for dinner while Jordan pan-fried a moose steak for him and George to sample. Both boys said the meat turned out good but I wouldn’t try it. Our guests had to leave early so they missed dinner, but it was great to have them here even for only 2 days. 🙂


Goodies from the gift basket

Alcoholic goodies

Except for the body scrub, another gift from Nancy!


Now, on Friday I had a bit of an incident. Initially I was not supposed to work that day but the schedule was changed while I was in Jamaica and I came home to discover that instead of a four-day weekend, I now had only three days. I had planned to clean, grocery shop, and bake that day. Instead I had to rush-clean Thursday night after work, didn’t bake anything, and then Friday morning I drove out to No Frills for groceries. I had to get home, dump the groceries, and then go to work. However, on my way back from the grocery store I was coming around a corner from one busy road to another with two lanes of turning traffic when all of a sudden the “check gauges” light dings on the truck dash, the vehicle shuts itself down, and the power-steering fails! I couldn’t keep the wheel turning because power-steering died (God knows I tried), I didn’t know what was going on, and I almost crashed into the vehicle turning beside me. That person must have saw me veering because he sped up and instead I ended up in a snow bank. Luckily I didn’t hit anyone or hurt the truck or myself! I sat there while traffic surged around me, in a panic and not knowing what to do! It took me two tries to call Jordan’s cell phone because I couldn’t remember the number (shock) and when I did get a hold of him, he said he’d be there in 20 minutes to tow me. I was afraid of getting hit by turning traffic since my truck wasn’t off the road enough. I texted my friend Stacey just so I could talk to someone while I waited, to calm myself down, and she said that she was right around the corner with her husband. So they came to my rescue! Her husband, Chris, works on cars so he got the truck going again and pulled it into a parking lot. I was so thankful! He looked under the hood and figured it was the Electronic Throttle Control that had failed, which also caused the power-steering to fail temporarily. There also happened to be an issue with the EGR valve. My poor truck! Once Jordan and a friend from his work arrived, we took the truck into the shop and spent almost $400 fixing the damn thing. 🙁 After all that, I wasn’t even late for work!

Recipe: Slow Cooker Hearty Pork Stew

Ingredients

1 1/2 lb boneless pork loin roast (trim fat), cut into cubes
Bag of baby carrots
5 or 6 medium white potatoes
1 small rutabaga
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
4 cups chicken broth
1 tsp dried sage
3/4 tsp dried thyme
dash of salt (optional)
1/2 tsp pepper
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp butter or margarine (softened)

1. Chop vegetables into bite-size chunks.
2. Mix all ingredients into 4 or 5-quart slow cooker, except flour and butter. Cover.
3. Cook on Low for 6 to 7 hours.
4. Mix flour and butter in small bowl. Gradually stir mixture into stew until well blended. Turn heat to High. Cover and cook for another 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened.


Slow cooker hearty pork stew


This is a recipe modified from Betty Crocker’s “Cookbook for Women” (pg 102). I couldn’t find any parsnips and I don’t like butternut squash, so I left those ingredients out and instead added the potatoes and rutabaga. The stew is flavourful and my guests thoroughly enjoyed it! Add some home-made bread to the table for dunking. Perfect for autumn and cold winter nights.

So come on and fly with me *

Just finished watching “Harry Potter & the Goblet of Fire” with my darling husband. Of course, I had to explain just about everything to him, but that’s okay because at least he watched it with me. 🙂

Sour cream spice cake with chocolate icing was a hit. I was a little hesitant when the recipe suggested using chocolate icing, but the combination is quite tasty! Jordan liked it and so did everyone at work. My first day back to work after holidays. A busy day; lots of work to catch up on.

On Thursday, I had my mom, Mike, and Keesje over for dinner. The night before I marinated a pork roast, and then in the morning tossed it into the slow cooker with some chopped potatoes. Smelled so good all day. Baked a vanilla pound cake. Then made caramelized carrots and onions for a side dish. Everyone enjoyed the food. This was the first time we’d had my mom and her spouse over for a sit-down meal so it was quite nice. Usually we call my dad over since he lives on his own and I like to feed him. It’s hard to get everyone at my mom’s house coordinated enough to come over for a visit.

I am off for another two days. What shall I bake this time?

Sticky rolls

I seem to be at the tail-end of my cold. The first few days of holidays, I was completely miserable and tired. We didn’t do much; watched some movies, played video games, read. We left the house on Sunday to go to church and pick up some groceries. I threw some veggies in the slow cooker to make soup for dinner. This morning we wanted to get out of the house and went to the grocery store — again — but this time for baking ingredients. I ended up making caramel pecan sticky rolls. Oh my, they are heaven. At some point this week I’m going to make cheesecake-filled chocolate brownies and German chocolate cake. We’ll have lots of goodies!