Mmmm dessert cake things. However you want to spell them (I’ll use both spellings in this blog)- they are sweet treats of yum that make you go nuts!
Okay, sugar high aside… we made donuts from scratch today. they turned out pretty darned good. I decided to make the doughnuts because I put fresh oil in the deep fryer. No one wants French fry or chicken strip flavored desserts.
The recipe was one I’ve been wanting to try for ages since I first ate one of these doughnuts. I didn’t make the cotton candy icing this time around. Forget it! I’m going to start a second batch right now and do that for this next batch. For the first donuts, our daughter made a lemon icing that she loves, and is equally as delicious.
I know a few things I could do differently… mostly patience with the yeast and the rising of the dough. But not bad for my first ever attempt. Definitely going to repeat it… Right now!
Here is the link to the original recipe. Go and try it for yourself!!! Terri’s Donuts
I’m enjoying this at home meal making. Tonight I made homemade sushi. I’ve made sushi at home previously, so I wasn’t afraid to have another go at it. I’m also getting better at making sushi.
I also cheated a bit this time around. I used a Sushezi. It’s essentially a “Sushi Bazooka” that pushes out the rice/fish mixture. It makes the sushi rolls so much faster than when I roll my own. Unfortunately they are much larger than regular sushi rolls.
The family enjoyed the dinner and scarfed it down in record time. Much faster than when I was making it.
I’ve always wanted to make my own pasta. So I decided that while I’m at home avoiding the world- this is the best time to try it. I even had a helper who enjoyed the rolling out of the pasta.
A couple of years ago I wrote about my discovery of my father’s old pasta maker: My Place Is In The Kitchen. It promptly was put in the back of a cupboard to be forgotten about, until today. I think it was because of playing the video game “Overcooked 2” recently that inspired me.
I decided to try my hand at making spinach pasta as my first ever attempt. Mainly because my wife bought a metric shit-ton of spinach, and no one was eating it. Why not make a green pasta with a white sauce?
Our middle daughter was a fantastic helper as we rolled out long strands of pasta. She also brought her Pop Vinyl from the film Ratatouille so that he could watch over us.
Who knew making pasta was so easy? And delicious. A glass of wine and a side casear salad made for a great family dinner. Making the pasta took the better part of an hour. But it was some good quality time spent with my daughter, and I’d do that any day.
My go-to breakfast of choice is the one, the only, the crowd favorite- TOAST!
Okay, maybe it’s not the greatest breakfast in the world. But it is so easy to make. Slice of bread goes in the toaster, toasted bread comes out. It’s one of life’s little miracles. And it’s a regular staple in my home.
The most pertinent question remains for said toast. What do you put on it? Jam? Jelly? Marmalade? Butter? I’m a big fan of most spreads. Strawberry jam, citrus marmalade, or even Nutella!!!
My usual is peanut butter and honey. I love how the peanut butter gets a bit melty and super smooth. Spread some liquid honey on that and I’m in heaven. It’s the simple pleasures in life that make me happy. I’m easy like Sunday morning.
What is your spread of choice? Are you a jam or jelly type? Or perhaps you like the toast dry? No judging here!
This afternoon I was with some of the Grade 12 parents as we prepared for tomorrow night’s festivities. There is a Speakeasy going on in Fort Langley as a fund raiser for the Dry Grad.
There were tons of props made already. Parents of Fine Arts students are equally as artistic as the children who attend the school. I’m glad to be a part of it all.
I was assisting with some painting and cooking. There is tons of finger foods and hors d’oeuvres for tomorrow’s dance. I enjoyed cooking on a gas stove once more. As we made food and props, we also enjoyed some music and some beverages.
Laughing and talking with other parents about our kids was great. We all have the same goal and want the best for our kids. Doing a Fund Raiser that also allows parents to have fun is a good way to break the ice and make memories for the parents (and later in the year- the teens).
Being a volunteer parent should be a mandatory job. I had nothing but fun with the mothers over the past few months and leading up to this afternoon. I’m looking forward to tomorrow night.
We spent the weekend in Fort St. John at the BC Winter Games. We are really proud of our kids for reaching some Person Bests this weekend! As well, our son with his friends are bringing home a bronze medal: BC Winter Games Success. But the hospitality Fort St. John offered was amazing.
We stayed at the Pomeroy Inn & Suites. The hotel chain had their first location in Fort St. John back in 1941. There is now 8 locations in BC and Alberta. Their accommodations were clean and the breakfast was filling. It’s no wonder that the Pomeroy also supported the building of the Long Track Speed Skating arena. It helps boost tourism into the city.
For lunches, my wife discovered the most amazing donair place. A little hole in the wall with delicious food. Fort St. John has been hiding this secret place from the rest of us. We ate there three days in a row. FST Donair- remember that name if you ever find yourself in Fort St. John!
After the Saturday events, we went to a Social put on by the Northern Lights College. We enjoyed some beers, snacks and a hot chocolate bar. It was a nice way to mingle with some locals and other parents who came to watch their kids perform in the games.
Finally, I want to acknowledge the city and people of Fort St. John. They were kind, friendly and very helpful all weekend long. Visiting Northern BC was never really on my must-travel-to locations in the past. But as we’ve been to Fort St. John a couple of times now within the year, I can see why people would live here or visit more often.
I expect to visit a few more times over the years as our son progresses with his Speed Skating goals. Perhaps we will discover some more hidden gems in their city that I can share.
We have three teenagers in our home. They are witty, intelligent and caring of others. They are also moody, self absorbed and lazy. Not knowing which attribute we will see around the house is a fun game. A game I am not always prepared to play.
The worst part of this game is as a parent, I’ll ask a question of them. A question that I’m not expecting an answer to. More a rhetorical question that I want them to think about. As I grow older I realize that this is a typical “Dad Thing” to do. And my kids do the typical “Teenage Thing” as a response.
Here we see an example of what our kids love to do. They don’t quite use up everything. Just enough that they leave it for someone else to find/replace/change/throw out… a roll of toilet paper with one square… A carton of juice with five drops left… Sour cream with half a spoonful remaining… When I ask, “Who finished…?” I get the usual, “Not Me.” And sometimes, “It’s not empty…”
If I didn’t have to supply nourishment to them, there are some days I’d leave the fridge barren to prove a point. which I am tempted to do this weekend. Leave some lemon juice, a yogurt, pickled pepperoncinis, salad dressings and condiments- see how well they’d survive before asking for real food.
The joys of being a parent to three teenagers brings out my immaturity.
The fact that I’ve been writing daily for Four Years means one of two things- I’m devoted to it or I’m addicted to it. I’d like to think it’s the former. I enjoy blogging. My blog isn’t designed to sell anything in particular nor is it much of an opinion piece. A lot of what I write is from the heart. Stories of my life and family. Sometimes I’ll promote small businesses or share my travel experiences.
Wanting to write while sick is difficult. There’s no ambition left inside me. It’s like my body and mind are under attack and weak. But I push through and share stories. Even though when I look back on the stories- they feel halfhearted and forced. I’m sorry about that.
Usually I try and have my blogs written and shared by early morning Pacific Time. Some days though, I have a tough time coming up with a good idea. Especially if I’m not having to go to work or have plans for the day. Driving is when I do my most thinking and thought processing. I also love sharing pictures on my blog that I feel relate to what I’m writing.
Thanks again for putting up with me through thick and thin. Sickness and in health. You are some of the best readers around.
Today I took my daughters out for lunch. We stopped in at a local eatery that opened up late last year- Ramen Bella. We have been to a variety of Ramen restaurants in Seattle, Calgary and even Tokyo. Finally having a Ramen Restaurant nearby our home made me happy. So naturally we had to test it out.
They have some unique fusion styles of noodle soup. I enjoyed the Matcha Latte Ramen. Which is exactly as it sounds- and it had a side of lime.
My oldest enjoyed The Black ramen. It had a very dark shoyu tare broth seasoned with garlic flakes.
My other daughter opted for the traditional miso style broth. All of our ramen came with the same style noodles, sliced pork, and corn in the broth. We left satisfied with our meals and full bellies.
Supporting small business is always something I encourage. Trying new restaurants and sharing positive experiences is something else I like to do. If you live in the Fraser Valley- head out to Ramen Bella for a lovely meal.
The other day I mentioned how we love to use our Fireplace. After discovering a better way to warm our home with it, I wanted to go the next step. Let’s cook!
I’ve also always loved Cooking with Cast Iron. The versatility of the cookware is amazing. I love having the ability to move the cookware to any type of cooking area. Be it stove top, oven, BBQ, or open fire- Cast Iron is fantastic.
Last night I chose to make dinner in a Cast Iron Dutch Oven while using our fireplace. I already had a warm fire going for a couple of hours. I moved the fire and embers to one side of the fireplace and lay a cast iron griddle across the grate on the other side.
I prepared an eye of round roast with a dry rub of salt, pepper and Montreal Steak Spice. I put that into the Dutch oven and let it cook using indirect heat. I kept the fire going on the opposite side in order to keep the heat at a continuous hot temperature. I ended up cooking the roast for approximately 2 hours in order to fully cook it. Once o removed the roast from the fireplace I key it rest prior to carving it.
While I kept the fire going, my wife and daughter worked on the side dish. Roasted Root Vegetables. This included potatoes, garlic, beets, and carrots mixed with olive oil and some rosemary stems. My wife cooked them on a baking sheet at 400° for approximately 40 minutes. The vegetables turned out amazing.
The roast also turned out perfect. Inside of the dutch oven was quite a bit of liquid, so we made a gravy for dinner as well. For a first time using our fireplace to cook with, I’d say dinner was eligible for a repeat occurrence.
Over the winter break, there is an over indulgence in eating. Lots of treats and rich foods that show up during that time of year. With a New Year comes all those plans to start eating better and live a healthy lifestyle.
Yesterday my wife went out and splurged on fruits and vegetables. I say “splurged” because it’s winter and many of those foods are greenhouse grown this time of year and cost far more than they do any other time. But it’s back to school time today and the kids need balanced food groups. Some favorites are in our home- such as apples, oranges, and bananas- all for consumption to offset those cookies from last month. My wife even bought a dragonfruit- a family favorite.
I’m not sure how to explain her purchase of “Oreo Flavoured Candy Canes” though. Perhaps a little bit of sugary treats are still desired. I guess she can’t expect us to go über healthy all at once, right?
We are two days into January and my wife and I had our first date of the year. We went for breakfast in Abbotsford at a place called Brambles Bistro at Tanglebank. It was a quiet location with only two other patrons inside.
Besides having great company (my wife!) we enjoyed some local farm fresh meals.
I ordered the Short Rib Skillet: Braised short ribs, au jus, roasted potatoes, smoked cheddar, bacon, caramelized onions, apples and two poached eggs. It looked like it wasn’t going to be a very large meal, but by the end I was definitely satisfied and full.
My wife ordered Huevos Rancheros. It contained smoked yams, charred corn and beans, smoked cheddar and two sunny side up eggs. It was served with avocado, pico, lime, and cilantro. A fantastic mix of sweet and spicy.
We savored our breakfasts then wandered around the shop. I could see how this place would be busier in the summer as the bistro is a part of the nursery and garden. I’m surprised that this was our first visit here since the Bistro has been open since 2012 and the Nursery since the mid-nineties.
As I love supporting small businesses, this is another one that I’d recommend to everyone.
I’m going to start this off by saying, I’m not an alcoholic. Now for some background into that statement.
Yes, I do enjoy having beer, wine and other spirits. I have shared plenty of stories of my journeys to a variety of breweries and distilleries. I also go long periods without a drop. I don’t tend to buy a lot of hard liquor or flavored liqueurs. Most often is around Christmas time to share with family and friends.
I pick up a bottle of Bailey’s Irish Cream every year. For the past few years it has been coming with a free mug that we have been gifting to our daughter- and she loves them. In fact, she gets upset if anyone else uses one. So her brother and sister know to stay clear of those mugs, as do my wife and I. I look at it as buying a $20 mug and getting a free bottle of Bailey’s.
This year, for whatever reason, my best friend has been gifting me a bottle of Bailey’s every time he comes out. And every time he comes over- the bottle keep getting bigger. We received one in July, one in October and another in December. Plus the one we pick up in order to get the mug- that adds up to a ton of Irish Cream. Basically the large one he brought us last week and the one I picked up are still full.
If I keep adding it to my morning coffee, I’m going to become immune to the effects and start increasing the doses until there’s no more coffee in my mug. How do I ask my friend to stop bringing me such a tasty beverage without sounding ungrateful?
Or rather, how do I convince him that next time he should bring Kahlua?
The winter season is all about food. Yesterday I mentioned Leftovers and previously I wrote about Christmas Baking. But there are other rich foods that I love and only enjoy this time of year.
The thick, sweet, dairy product that makes me feel bloated with joy. As an adult I have moved on from adding dark rum to this beverage. Now I mix it with Fireball or Gingerbread Rum. It makes my insides feel like I’m getting tipsy on what Christmas should taste like.
Oh my. I could eat a plate of these little creamed yoke treats. But my brain knows that my body would be unhappy afterwards. So one, maybe two, are enjoyed. A simple delicacy that was often found at picnics or potlucks of the 70’s and 80’s. Now they dawn our table at Christmas. Our son made these ones and they turned out delicious- as always.
What rich foods to you over indulge with over Christmas?
We enjoyed a variety of food over the Winter Solstice, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and Boxing Day that we do not need to prepare meals for the next few days.
Half of our fridge is filled with storage containers of a variety of foods. Turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cheeses, meats, desserts and all of the other sides that went with the meals. If the kids get hungry- they can mix and match the leftovers.
Yesterday and today I’ve been working on a turkey soup as well. Boiling the remainder of meat off the bones. It has created an excellent aroma in our home that adds a coziness to our castle. That’s tomorrow night’s lunch/dinner. Later today we will make what we call “Turkey Slop”. Mashed potatoes, gravy and turkey meat all mixed together in a pot. I cannot wait to enjoy it this evening.
Did you make an abundance of food over the holidays? Do you enjoy leftovers as well? Let me know in the comments what you do with your turkey leftovers.
Last night our son wanted to help with dinner, so I had him make pretty much all of it. And it turned out delicious. We made schnitzel together. It was the first time he has helped to make it.
It’s the dinner I had every Christmas Eve growing up. I’m not sure why, but schnitzel at Christmas always tastes better than schnitzel any other time. Last night was even tastier because of it being made by our thirteen year old.
Carrying on traditions and engaging our children in them makes me happy. We have many other traditions that we keep up with. But this dinner is my favorite.
What do you have for dinner at Christmas? Have you shared with your children how to prepare and cook meals? Let me know in the comments.
When you’re happy- it’s good to share some smiles with the world. On Saturday our daughter decided to mark up our mandarin oranges with some attitude.
I take two of the oranges with me to work each day. To be honest, this actually brightens my days more than I expected. Our daughter shared the picture on her Instagram and her friends loved it as well.
Sometimes a simple gesture or a bit of fun can make people happy. Orange you glad I shared this image today?
My wife turned me on to a wonderful tradition- baking cookies for Christmas. I bake a variety of cookies throughout December. The problem is that the cookies I baked two weeks ago are all gone. Now it’s time to buckle down and bake more for the winter break.
When my wife and I first met, we didn’t have a lot of money to spend on gifts for family and friends. So baking cookies, handmade candles, cards, and ornaments was a good way to show we cared. Crafting and baking was also a fantastic way to get some quality time.
Now, years later, I bake solo for the most part during this time of year. I’ve had the kids help periodically, but our weekends and evenings are filled up with activities. I bake during my days off with some Christmas tunes playing. I have a pleasurable time dancing around the kitchen.
I want to share one of my favorite recipes with you. No, it’s not Wookiee Cookies, even though they are top notch! I want to share one of the most basic recipes ever that is from a cookbook from 1979. I received the book in 1980 or 1981 and I’ve made these Peanut Butter cookies ever since. Only once did they turn out awful. That was a mix of the peanut butter I used (don’t use crunchy!) and the fact that I thought making them bigger would make them tastier. I was about 10 years old at the time- bigger should’ve meant better, right?
Here is the recipe:
1 cup shortening
1 cup peanut butter
1 cup regular sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350°
In large bowl mix shortening and peanut butter. Add both kids of sugar, stir until mixed. Then stir in eggs and vanilla. Mix throughly.
In a separate bowl mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Then mix all ingredients together.
Form dough into small balls on an ungreased cookie sheet. Gently flatten with a fork to create a “hashtag”.
Bake for 10-12 minutes. Makes 3 dozen cookies.
An optional change I have made is adding a cup of Reese’s peanut butter chips into the mix. The chips don’t melt and really bring out more peanut butter flavor to them.
Enjoy this recipe! I’m now onto making those Wookiee Cookies and moist ginger snaps. Maybe I’ll share those recipes at a later date.
Last night my wife and I attended my work Christmas Party at my boss’s home. After a long day of watching our son at Speed Skating, it was nice to get out and socialize. And my coworkers enjoy socializing!
I’m the kind of person who generally gets things going at various events- be it a wedding or party. I don’t mean getting out of hand and crazy. I mean I’m usually the first one at the food table gathering nun-nums and starting the conversation of what foods I tried. Last night was no exception. I also tend to place myself down in a good spot that many people “stop by” and strike up conversations.
As the evening progressed, everyone let loose a bit more. A couple coworkers cleared off the dining room table for a beer pong tournament, while others shared some of their more fancier alcohols. Music, jokes and great conversations were happening. I had to cut my evening short about three hours in. It was already a long day, plus I had to be up early for work. My coworkers were getting up to some shenanigans and I’m sure some fun stories will be shared at the water cooler this week.
Working with a hangover is for the young these days. I haven’t wanted to push my limits lately as there are already plenty of stories of my insobriety out there. Even my kids have a few.
As we left, I thanked our hosts for the hospitality. My boss’s wife is quite amazing at cooking and baking it seems. There was a lovely spread of appetizers and treats laid out. As we were leaving, I asked for her recipe on how she made the doughnuts. She mentioned that it’s on her blog in which I follow. Honestly, I didn’t know that I followed her specifically, because I enjoy a variety of blogs. But there she was, and her first blog post- Doughnuts! I may have to try my hand at deep frying something beyond savory goodies one day.
Just a friendly reminder- If you are out at holiday parties please make sure you have a safe ride home. As embarrassing as being a bit tipsy may be the next day, having a “next day” is more important.
For my wife’s birthday, I took her out for lunch this afternoon at a place called The Raving Gamer Bistro in Langley, BC.
It’s the perfect style of place for my wife and I. It’s locally owned and operated. The menu serves locally-sourced ingredients from many of the places that I love to visit in Langley and nearby.
I enjoyed the Three’s Company Grilled Cheese: Golden Ears cheddar & gouda on Langley’s A Bread Affair’s Three’s Company bread.
My wife ate the Raving Water Buffalo Burger: a house-made patty of local water buffalo with bread and butter pickles, fresh tomatoes, red onion, gouda from Golden Ears Cheese Crafters, double smoked bacon and a house-made Russian dressing.
Both of us opted for the house-cut fries with “butta-shoyu” & Japanese spice; and a local beer to wash it all down.
During our lunch, we had a chance to enjoy some one on one time while playing board games. The selection of games to play was extensive. After our meal, we browsed through some of the games for sale. These aren’t your typical Monopoly variations or poker games. Many of the games I had never heard of. But when I asked the staff about games- they had knowledgeable answers.
We had a nice quiet lunch- we were the only two customers in there. It sounds like they are much busier in the evening time, especially on the weekends. I highly recommend visiting the Bistro. But be prepared to spend time and money! We were there for about an hour and a half and spent $100. But we also picked up a game that we have been wanting for some time now. So it was worthwhile investment for the future of our fun!
I enjoy baking cookies. I think I’ve mastered the art of deliciousness in each and every batch. My family and coworkers enjoy sampling my treats. And I really enjoy sharing them.
Today I made ginger snaps. And just like every other cookie I bake- they turned out perfect. I also baked a cake for my wife’s birthday tomorrow. Cakes for me are easy. I only ever do the boxed cakes. Quick and easy. I usually have a variety of mixes on hand because we use them as a Waffle batter substitute. Best idea ever!
However, I am not talented at icing cakes. I understand the concept behind butter cream icing, crumb coats and piping tubes. I can just never express in physical form what my mind is trying to achieve.
Our son’s birthday cake earlier this year looked tasty. But it wasn’t exactly what I was aiming for. It did the trick though. A a sweet dessert treat for a quick celebration. The same goes for my wife’s cake for tomorrow. My heart is in it, but my skills just aren’t there.
So I’ll just bake more cookies later this month. Those are always a hit.
Yesterday I went into our large freezer to look for a dinner idea. I wasn’t able to find what I was looking for. That’s because our chest freezer had become chaotic.
My wife and I were given this freezer twenty years ago from a family friend of mine. They were moving out of province and were giving away items. I picked up this chest freezer and an old school heavy a.f. pullout couch bed. Come to think of it, I have no idea where that couch has gone to now…
Anyhow, I decided to clean out the freezer and reorganize it. Jut like I did with our fridge freezer last year: Freezer Food
It was like diving into a time capsule. Deep down in the recesses I discovered ham from 2016 and beef stew from 2015. Looks like our dog was going to get those once thawed.
I scrapped all the ice off and gave the freezer a wipe down before reorganizing and taking inventory of what we had. Seems like we have meals for a few weeks remaining. It also looks like our freezer is only half full now. Where as before it was a jumble of crap. I’m happy to have gone through it and make it tidy once more.
To make myself feel warmer, I kept some frozen blueberries out and made a batch of tasty blueberry muffins. This has got me in the mood to start some Christmas Cookie Baking! Is it too soon? Maybe the first batches will be “testers”, right?
Last night at work for lunch I had A&W. It’s been a very long time since I’ve had food from there. The burger and onion rings were moderately okay. But my drink… I put the straw up to my lips and instantly hated it.
The paper straw gave me goose bumps and an icky feeling. So I couldn’t enjoy my beverage. Two hours later I tried to have another sip and the paper straw was turning into wet sugar pulp. It was as if the straw esophagus was having and allergic reaction to the soda. It began to collapse in on itself.
In the end, I took the lid off with the straw still in the punctured X and threw it in the trash. I didn’t recycle them out of sheer frustration and anger. Immediately I began to hate myself and A&W for ruining my meal.
Never again. No more paper mache in my drinks! I will hunt down a plastic straw wholesaler and stock pile those fish killing plastic death tubes. I know there are glass and metal straws available. But I’m not pretentious enough to carry one of those on my person in a leather satchel like a heroine addict and his kit.
You know what, from now on don’t give me a paper straw or a sippy cup lid (What the heck are those?) I’m just not going to buy fast food drinks any more. I was going to say I’ll just buy bottled water- but that’s bad for the environment too.
There’s no winning. Maybe I should just dehydrate myself like a raisin or a prune.
I have been taking my children to the Trading Post Eatery in Fort Langley for ages now. This is the second location of their brewery and is more of an eatery and brewhouse than anything. Usually I have a beer and I treat the kids to a snack. We love the yam fries and specialty foods that are available.
Because of the quality of the food- I don’t mind the kids tagging along. This afternoon my son asked if he is allowed to order some food for pick up on his lunch. That brought up an interesting thought- “Is it okay for my kids to order food from a brewery?” The answer is “Yes”.
At least from this local “restaurant” it’s not an issue. I asked the manager and he said it’s totally fine for my kids to place an order for pick up. My son now has Trading Post as a contact in his phone for those days at lunch that he wants to walk in to town and grab lunch.
Like most folks, we have an assortment of coffee mugs in our cupboard. They often appear as gifts based on whatever the recipients fancy. From Owls to Lego, to mugs that come free with a bottle of booze- these become personalized favorites of us all. But my wife and I are cheesy. We have a collection of matching mugs.
It started years ago with a couple of horoscope ones from the dollar store. But it soon branched off into ones that defined who we really were.
My wife dominated over me by absconding the “Player 1” mug leaving me to be the Luigi to her Mario. Always second to none, but she’s my number one.
I am particularly fond of our first set of Disneyland mugs. Simple art of the classic characters that defined cartoons My wife is the Minnie to my Mickey.
Soon after we picked up another set of mugs. She is the elegant Eve to my clunky love struck Wall-E. But wait, there’s more…
A couple of years later she became my Belle. That’s right, we really are that cheesy. Even our kids began to get in on the fun.
Of course Disneyland plays on the memories and heartstrings of everyone who enters their gates. The store shelves are lined with trinkets and mugs that need to be brought home. Every one of our morning coffees is in matching mugs. And no one else is permitted to use them.