Random thoughts of an upbeat mind

Posts tagged ‘baking’

Feeling blessed

Over the past couple of weeks I have been on the receiving end of many acts of kindness from my co-workers.

Last week when I was still on my cleanse I arrived at work to find a bag of cherries on my desk. A present from a co-worker who brought in sugary treats for the office. So I wouldn’t feel left out.

little miss sunshine

This t-shirt was given to me after I was admiring a similar shirt on one of my co-workers. It’s a little tight and I feel like I might lose custody of it to Princess. 😦

On Friday I came back to my desk to find a fruit tart sitting there waiting for me. 🙂

So to say thank you, I will be making Turtle Cookies as this recipe caught my eye. I will pick up caramels tomorrow as this is the only ingredient I am missing.


Tomorrow morning bright and early I will be driving to Ottawa to visit with one of my cousins. She is in the process of packing up her place to move and is need of some assistance. Since it’s a long weekend AND neither of my girls are working tomorrow, it seemed like a great little road trip to lend a hand. We’ll be back hopefully before 6 pm on Monday. So I can make cookies, of course. 😉

All cooked out

I feel like I’ve been tied to my kitchen all week.

Last Sunday, I fried fish. Never again, I swear my house still smells like fish despite light candles every day.IMG-20151220-00358

Cheese rolls, which in an attempt to get them brown I left in the oven way too long so they exploded. Tasted fantastic regardless. 🙂IMG-20151220-00360

Beef patties. A labour of love that I can not say I will be repeating. IMG-20151220-00359

On Tuesday I started my traditional pot of Pepperpot or as I used to call it when my kids were small “Black chicken”. It is a “stew” of meat, mainly beef and/or pork, cassareep and spices eaten with bread or rice. It is cooked for at least 2 days before consumption.

This year for Christmas I decided to make a couple of gifts as my parents need NOTHING. So for my Mom and Dad I made

Holiday spiced nuts. I only used 5 cups of nuts but it still turned out well.

For my Mom, I made Bailey’s

For my Dad who has issues with dairy, I made a non-dairy version.

FYI, the dairy version is very simple to make and tastes so good in coffee. 😀

Today my Mom and Aunt are coming over for dinner. I am making turkey parts (legs and thighs), potatoes, stuffing, gravy and steamed Brussels sprouts and carrots.

After tonight I am retiring from the kitchen for a while.


OTMTW – 7.19.15


It’s been a long time since I’ve baked buns. Not sure why I chose the hottest day of the year to do so but hey what to do when inspiration hits!

I tried a Milk & Honey white bread as I was looking for something a little more substantial than flour and water. I halved the recipe as I wasn’t sure that it would fly with my girls. They prefer I make my Grandmother’s bread recipe but that is a little more involved than I wanted to do today.

Diva tried one and she didn’t complain so this recipe is a winner.

Tomorrow I will be using them to go with some burgers. 🙂

Let’s see if I remember how this is done, it’s been a long while since I’ve planned out out meals.

On the menu this week:

Monday – Hamburgers and fries
Tuesday – Baked chicken with sidekicks
Wednesday – leftover chicken with sidekicks
Thursday – Chicken noodle soup
Friday – Big Bite Burrito
Saturday – TBD

A Great Day

Today was a great day. It started with a little lot of Bob.

Yoga for the Warrior


This video came highly recommended by one of my cousins.  I am ashamed to say that I had previously borrowed it from the library and returned it unopened as the workout is 1 hour-long.  But since she said it was a good I figured it was worth a shot.

For me to do a long workout, I have to schedule it on the weekend. I am just not there yet with the desire or energy to do this during the week.

This video had me shaking and sweating.  I found him much gentler in personality that Jillian but still very challenging.  I can see this being a Sunday video on a regular basis and might consider purchasing it.

I have another Bob video to try but it too is a lengthy one so it will have to wait until Saturday.

I tried a new recipe that got rave reviews from my very skeptical children. Costco had tortillas on sale so I bought a package then wondered what I would do with them.  Enter Mexican lasagne from Fannetastic Food. It was delicious.  I can’t wait for lunch time tomorrow when I will be having leftovers. 🙂

The icing on the cake was the 1.5 lbs less that showed up on the scale when I stepped on it.  Yes I know the numbers mean nothing don’t tell the whole story but it still does make my day when there is less of them.

OTMTW – 10/27/14

Guess who’s back to meal planning??????????

If you guessed me you are absolutely correct!!  There is no prize to be won but let the knowledge that you won keep you warm tonight. 🙂

Lately I have been flying by the seat of my pants when it comes to feeding my family. 😦  Some days have been better than other.  Yesterday Diva & I brainstormed about possible dinner options and she came up with sloppy Joe’s.  I made homemade buns and the plan started.

Sunday – Homemade pepperoni pizza using that delicious 2 ingredient pizza dough recipe
Monday – Sloppy Joe sandwiches with coleslaw, I used this recipe but modified it by using onions & garlic instead of powders and added red peppers
Tuesday – Pasta with sausage from this recipe
Wednesday – leftovers
Thursday – stew chicken and rice
Friday – leftovers
Saturday – TBD

For the past couple of weeks my fridge was empty, I did manage to reduce the amount of items in my freezers, but I still have a way to go.  I am slowly toying with the idea of getting rid of my big freezer.  My thought is that I don’t seem to get to the stuff at the bottom. 😦   Going to spend some time really thinking about it.  My cousin has an upright freezer and I like that much better but it’s the size of a fridge, way too big for me.  If I could find a bar fridge size upright freezer I could be sold. 😉

My latest discovery

I have been on the hunt for a while for a good quick pizza dough recipe.  Until yesterday most of my efforts were not successful according to the “voluntold” testers that live in my house.

On Wednesday when I should have been working but instead was passing time on-line, I stumbled across this recipe for 2 ingredient pizza dough.  Pizza dough that doesn’t require you to wait for an hour while it rises!?!

I was very excited at the thought.

Yesterday I tried it out.  I was impressed.  Diva was impressed.  Princess was impressed.

I have found my new go to pizza dough recipe. 🙂

All is right in the world. 🙂 🙂

It was so worth it

On Friday, I ended up leaving later than I wanted to.  GPS put us there after 7 but we stopped a few times so we were there after 8.  It was an easy drive except for this whistling noise which we decided was one of my brakes.  What is it with me and car trouble on these long drives?

Since we arrived at a respectable hour, I was able to go to bed on the “right” side of midnight. 🙂  Although I think my early bedtime contributed to the crazy dream I had.  I slept on the bottom bunk, Princess on the top and Diva on the trundle beside me and dreamt that the top bunk was falling on me.  I even woke up Diva asking for help while holding the top bunk up with one hand. CRAZY!

The next morning I got up and got to work.  I baked the pine tarts and cheese straws that I brought down with me.  Then my cousin told me she bought me 2 lbs of cheese and had lots of butter in anticipation of my baking.  So I made 2 more batches of cheese straws by hand.  My arm is hurting.

The party was fantastic.  People came from near and far to congratulate my cousin’s daughter.  I took almost 400 pictures.  I love my camera.  Now I need to get on the ball about sharing them.

Sunday I left just before noon armed with a hack of how to stop my car’s brakes from making noise.  We were making good time, even stopped for a short visit at Target. 🙂 Traffic coming into Toronto was terrible. It added over an hour to our time. 😦

I am so very glad I made the trip.  My cousin still looks like herself.  We had a great visit.  Talked about all kinds of things.  We made plans to meet in Ohio in August when she goes to drop her daughter off at university.

I took my car to the mechanic after work today and he confirmed what I already guessed.  The back brake on the driver’s side is having issues.  We decided not to really look until Saturday when it will be fixed.

I did a bad bad thing

Last year when I was in MD, my cousin told me she would be having a graduation party for her oldest daughter in June.  I agreed to go.

When I was at my old job I thought no problem I would just take Friday off and drive down.

Then I changed jobs …

Since I haven’t been here long and one of my co-workers seemed to have a mini meltdown when someone else took the day off I changed my plan and decided to just drive down after work.

Then I remembered I am not young any more.  Making a 8+ hour drive after working 8 hours was just plain nuts.

So yesterday I called in “sick”. 😦

Don’t judge me.  I actually do feel a little guilty about this.

This summer will most likely not have a real vacation plus it’s this cousin.  I don’t even want to tell you how I got teary before coming here.  I don’t want her to get that energy from me.  I have been one of the few who just rolls with it and remains positive.  So if you are the praying sort, please feel free to add my cousin in the mix.  Cause God knows I am praying for a miracle.

Anyhoo …

I am now sitting in my cousin’s kitchen about to make pine tarts and cheese straws for a party of 70+ that is scheduled to start at 4.  I made all the dough when I was at home.  I just need to assemble and bake and be out of the kitchen before 1.

I hope the pine tarts taste good as this is my first time making them.

Baked goods


The children noticed the whole wheat but one was still eaten.  So I think these will do.  After baking they looked more like the original rolls.

Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cheesecake Cookies

I added walnuts to these cookies and it was super delicious. 🙂

Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Princess ate one and said it was good.  The mayo muffins worked. 🙂  Whoo hoo!!

Baking up a storm

In light of my girls being home for March break, I am going to bake a few things they can easily help themselves to.  My children are lazy.  If it’s not easy to do, they don’t want to do it.  For example I used to bake loaves of bread and they would spoil as my little angels didn’t want to bothered to slice bread.  Now I make rolls and they get demolished.

Today I am making rolls, banana chocolate chip muffins and chocolate butterscotch cheesecake cookies, in the hopes that I won’t come home in the afternoon to hear no one has eaten.

The muffins called for whole wheat flour which I happen to notice that my bag has expired.  I still used it.  Shhhh, don’t tell my children.  Since I want to use it up I substituted 1 cup of all-purpose with whole wheat when I made my rolls.  I am sure they will object but I am hoping they do not notice.

This might be the first time ever I have come close to using out a container of mayo.  I buy the smallest jar possible but we are not a mayo family.  Princess is really the only one who uses it and when she does it only goes on sandwiches made with deli meat.  If this muffin recipe works out I will have to keep it on file just as a way to use up mayo.

Since I knew I was making the cookies this weekend I actually went out and bought butterscotch chips.  Last time I made these cookies, I just used all chocolate.  It was “hard” to get them all down hatch! LOL

I’ll be back with pictures to torture you shortly.