Tuesday, January 25, 2011

My recipe for a dinner my kids ate more of than I did

Normally the way dinner goes in our house is I cook it, I serve the kids a portion, and I eat about 1.5 to 2 times what they eat. Not tonight. Tonight, I served everyone a portion, and the girls ate every last crumb for seconds.

What did we have tonight, you ask?


If you are queasy, or otherwise don't agree when humans hunt or scavenge for food

I wouldn't read on............................................


Cause this is a great story.

That involves some venison that a hunter friend scavenged when he saw it get hit by a car.




A week ago I got a message from my friend's husband. I have chatted with him in the past about hunting and game and fishing. I had said I missed having duck and deer and other game during hunting season, and told him how much my girls love game meat.

He then posted on facebook how he had snagged a deer that was hit right in front of him. He killed it (the humane thing given its injuries), gutted it and took it to be butchered.

He kept mentioning it on Facebook. I kept commenting "GRRRRR"
Like I said, we like deer meat, but my brother didn't get any this year, so we were going without.
I won't buy it in a grocery store.

So the message basically asked if I would like some of the meat, because the girls and I enjoy it so much. I took him up on the offer, and he gave us some chops (which I find are the easiest to cook when in a hurry) and some honey garlic sausage. He wouldn't let me pay for some of the butchering cost in return (in fact, I believe I might have caused some minor offence).

Tonight, I got down my big skillet, cut up an onion and threw it in the pan with olive oil and a spoonful of chopped garlic. Once they had sweated out, I added one of the packs of chops (4 good size chops, thinking there would be leftovers) to the pan and seared the meat each side.

A sprinkle of salt on both sides of the meant, splash 2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar on the meat, pour about 1/2 cup of vegetable stock in the pan, and turned it down to simmer for a couple of hours.

We had mashed potatoes and broccoli on the side, and the juices from the pan were strained and used as "au jus"

Like I said, I expected leftovers, and got not a single crumb for seconds for me. They ATE IT ALL!

The girls were then talking to my mom and dad after dinner, and told them all about mommy's yummy dinner. And said I should make it more.

Guess I'm going to have to find a few more friends who have good field skills in hunting and scavenging.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I made these today with a twist

This is a recipe I adore because I can feed the daycare children COOKIES and they love them.
Today we tried them with a twist, as the carrots I purchased Friday were completely limp when I went to grate them today.

Instead of shredded carrot, try shredded zucchini. Tastes great and its very healthy.


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The best laid plans

Last post I described all of the things I planned on doing during my weekend off. I got a good portion of what I had planned done, but not nearly as much as I would have hoped.

I did get one whole eye of round cut up in various ways (roast, quick steak, stir fry) and marinated then sealed. I did get a whole chicken roasted (in the slow cooker) then shredded. I did get chicken breast marinated, grilled, sealed, and frozen. A dozen twice baked broccoli and cheese potatoes created and then individually wrapped then frozen.

What's left, you ask?

Another whole eye of round to cut up and seal
A huge thing of chicken wings, which must be dealt with tomorrow, divided and sealed.
Potato soup to be made and enjoyed.
Muffins to be baked, and pumpkin loaf to be baked. Then individually wrapped and frozen for busy mornings.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

The plan for the first weekend of the year...I'm off the whole weekend!

It's the first weekend of the year, and I'm off the whole weekend. Dropped the girls off early last night, so I am well rested, re energized, and eager to accomplish.

I have spent what was left of the morning after sleeping in scouring my recipes, online and off, to do some batch cooking. One thing that got me last semester was the lack of time to plan ahead, and have some semblance of an idea of what I am cooking for dinner each night. I have a great slow cooker, a mini slow cooker, and one of those vacuum sealers, with rolls of bag material so I can custom fit to each recipe or serving.

I have lots of great ideas. And posts of my creations will follow, along with any links to the site it came from.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

This school thing I'm doing

Many many people keep asking about what I am taking at school. And many keep asking how its going.

I don't like repetition, so I decided I would create a blog page regarding "this school thing" and what it is all about.

My life's dream, my biggest wish, my soul's desire has been to become an elementary school teacher since I was around the age of eleven. At the end of high school, I was declined for concurrent education. I went on to complete a science degree at Trent in Psychology, and focused as much as possible on child development and educational psychology.

At the end of my degree I applied for consecutive education, this time I was wait listed. I was so close, but I wasn't playing horse shoes.

One very dark, dismal, winter day when I was sitting alone at home with little to look forward to and little to inspire me, I began web surfing. I started at Trent, checking out the new Emphasis on Education program that began after I graduated. I then progressed to Queens, and then I checked out the Ontario College of Teachers. I found a list of all the Faculties of Education that were offering approved part - time Teacher Education programs in Ontario.

Trent was on the list, and the program looked great, 2 years instead of 1, but I wasn't sure about it. I'd been to Trent, suicide capital among universities in its hey day, movie set for a really really bad sequel, and full of hippies. Great place, perfect for my undergrad, but I didn't want to go back.

Then I hit on it. State University of New York offered a program in Ottawa that was a Master's level in the states. Apparently it doesn't meet all of the Master's level requirements here, but the point is, its an amazing program, taught in Canada.

I went to an information session, and fell in love. I talked to former teachers and principals of mine, now friends, and they told me how great it was to get SUNY teachers. I applied, got accepted, and decided to wait an extra year before starting.

The grading scheme is a little intimidating. 72% is no longer my fall back grade. It happens to be a fail. 80% is a B-, 90% an A-. I am sure you get the picture, its pretty demanding and pretty daunting.

First course was Introduction to Education. We looked at major issues and policies in education as well as leading pedagogy and the various proponents.

Final grade..... 90%

Second course was Development and Education. We looked at child development, common theorists, and current issues affected by development.

Final grade.....90%

More to follow as time marches on.........

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Coffee has become my only vice.......this may not be good.

So, I am not really a smoker - asthma/allergies/environmental sensitivities don't really mix well with ciggies. Though sometimes I would like to be.

I am not a stoner, cause its illegal and a little expensive for my tastes.

I am no longer a drinker - that relaxing glass of wine/whisky/tequila was stolen from me when I began a new medication regime in the Spring. Technically I can still drink on these meds, however I can't even get half a drink in before I feel absolutely awful.

I have nothing left but my coffee. Glorious, dark roasted, coffee.

Here's the kicker. Acid reflux sufferers are not supposed to consume too much coffee. I have acid reflux. And I am sensitive to caffeine, enough so that I don't sleep if I drink it too late (like after 4 pm, which is dangerously close to the time right now, and I am thoroughly enjoying a cup of Kenyan dark roast).

Oh well. If the doc complains about my three cups a day, then I will simply outline how much worse things could be......I could start smoking again.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A jumble of thoughts today, to be posted tomorrow.

So, it is January the third. Wow, 2011. Seems like yesterday we were celebrating my 19th birthday and the turn of the century.

I have many many thoughts running through my brain. And I really didn't think 10 facebook status updates within a half hour was a great idea. So, here they are.

#1. I am crazy. Today my full time job is closed, so I technically should have a day off. But, I convinced the boss at the store to take his stat day today, keep head office happy, and give me an 8 hour gravy shift. This morning I am kind of regretting it, however, in reality, the money will help alot.

#2. I watch CTV newsnet every morning. This morning they were discussing that just before midnight hundreds of blackbirds began falling from the sky either dead or close to it. They fell for about a half an hour, stopping just around midnight. WTF? It happened in a little town in the Arkansas bible belt. Betcha they are consulting their bibles, trying to figure out if judgement day is coming.

#3. The girls head back to school today. They have announced that they "hate school". I doubt it, I think they just hate waking up before they are ready, and would rather be playing. They seem to do well at school when they are there. Its funny how I take such joy in the complaining and grumping going on this morning.

#4. I am still pissed that I didn't know about the eclipse on the solstice in enough time to plan to be off and able to stay up to see it. Won't be another one like that until after I'm long dead. (Unless I live to be 113 that is)

#5. Both kids are looking a little peaky, despite being home and reasonable well rested. Both have tummys that are a little upset, they both got up in the night to use the bathroom which is very unusual. I am hoping they are not getting a bug. I don't want to start the new year at the daycare by using a sick day the first possible day I can.

#6. Sick days, vacation days, personal days. I ran out of paid time off in October. Laura has been sick a couple of times since, Kenzie once, me once. As of January 1, I get all 10 sick days, all 10 vacation days, and 2 personal days back. THANK FREAKING GOODNESS!

Well, its time to take the little ones to school :)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

And the holidays are yet again over for another year

Now I understand that the holiday season is crazy busy for everyone. However, I must say I do think ours is a bit crazier than most.

The twins birthday is mid November, we usually have a party at home. Usually feeding a lot of people.

Once the birthday party has been completed, its time to get out Christmas decorations, movies, music, etc. This is typically when I start to pick up hours at the store, and every other weekend I work about 16 hours to my normal 12. Doesn't sound like much, but trust me, when you only have 24 free hours every week, those four are sadly missed.

The annual Christmas training (aka party at Jean's) usually happens the weekend of the birthday party.

The tree goes up the weekend after the party. (This year it didn't go up until the second weekend of December) Various decorations are distributed to their respective locations. We begin Christmas crafting. Moonlight madness happens (where I work until 11 pm on a Friday night having already worked a full week) I start panicking that I won't get everything done in time. We do a little baking. My Mom's birthday happens a week before Christmas. This is about the time that I realize I forgot something major for the kids (this year it was movies). The second moonlight madness occurs. Lord help me if they ever add a third.

Keep in mind that with school, I am usually finishing a course around this time. This typically means a big, major assignment.

I go shopping for whatever is left that I haven't gotten with all my pre planning. I get whatever groceries I estimate we will need, it will not be enough. I stock up on coffee. Lots of it.

I bake, cook, and generally help to prepare for the big day. I pack up the dog, the kids (alternating years), the presents (last year I sent a truck load ahead with my dad) and head for Sydenham. We visit, we eat, and my dad usually has presents he needs wrapped that night...he doesn't pre plan well. Then mom needs a hand with last minute wrapping....this year all of it. I tuck the kids in if they are with me, sneak the santa stuff downstairs, eat the cookies and leave crumbs, drink some of the milk, and sprinkle sparkles (fairy dust). Then attempt to relax enough to sleep. By this point I am so tired I have lapped around to wide awake.

I sleep a few hours, we wake up, drink coffee, do the Christmas morning thing, do the Christmas day thing, then the dinner thing. We head home, unpack - usually this entails Mark filling his car too- tuck the kids in or take them to their Dad's house, stay up putting toys together, and pass out on the floor, wake up cold, go to bed.

Boxing day, I work. We have fun and we drink more coffee.

Then a few days later, New Year's Eve and then my birthday.

Kinda makes January the 2nd look like the most beautiful day of the year.