February 2

What’s for dinner?

Pork Lo Mein (or chicken in my case!)

Pork Lo Mein

We have been watching What’s Cooking on Saturday’s, it’s a new cooking show that started 2 weeks ago, it’s good. I like that it’s Canadian, quick, easy & nutritious recipes AND you can find all the ingredients easily!

I’m a pretty big fan of kraftcanada.com & of course their magazine What’s Cooking.

My daughter & I made this recipe tonight together, it was a HIT, everyone loved it, we can’t wait to try the next one!

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May 13

Blueberry Muffins…

I made these muffins on Monday, they are indeed yummy, next time I would add a touch of cinnamon, also, they are a very, very dense, filling muffin, so if you don’t like that don’t make them!!

My batch only made 8 good sized muffins.

Yummy Lowfat Blueberry Oatmeal Muffins

You can find the recipe here. I used light Sour Cream, don’t think it really makes a difference for 2 tablespoons!

Than yesterday I made these muffins: Blueberry Muffins with Crumb Topping

My kid’s & hubby absolutely love, LOVE these, I made 12 of these yesterday afternoon & there is only 1 left today.

You can find the recipe here which leads you to the actual recipe here. I used 1% milk in place of whole milk.

If you try them…ENJOY!

I probably won’t have anything creative to post for a bit, I’m going to be working on an album for my daughter & than next weekend I’m away for a scrapbooking retreat. Sorry :{ but, do check back soon!

April 28

Mini Lemon Cheesecake…

I made these Sunday night for dessert, my daughter & I were the only ones that had some since my hubby doesn’t like cream cheese & my son didn’t care for it either, my daughter & I should have just shared one because we each only ate 1/2 of ours!

I put them into individual serving dishes, I think I made 5 & I still have 3 in the freezer for another time.

I used light cream cheese & cool whip, & topped with blackberries & strawberries…yummy!

Click here for the link for the receipe.

April 16

The Calgary Zoo & some recipes…

Yesterday I took the kid’s to the Calgary Zoo, the kid’s wanted to see the Koala’s up close & personal, well as close as you can get thru a glass window, they look cute, that’s about it! They are on “loan” from the San Diego Zoo until September. I finally also got to see the Stingray’s up close which was very cool, they are kinda cute!

It wasn’t the warmest day here in Calgary yesterday, a little breezy & when that sun went away…brrr!

Some fun!

I thought this was pretty funny, my son wanted nothing to do with getting in the pouch considering it is across from the playground!

Even though it was a little chilly out the kid’s just couldn’t resist these bright, yummy popsicles…brrr!

I also just wanted to post a couple of yummy recipes that I have made lately that I have found from fellow bloggers.

The first is Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies, I found this recipe at Just Give Me Stamps found here.

They are quite yummy, very “dense” & moist, my daughter wants nothing to do with them because of the texture but, my hubby likes them! I used butter instead of shortening & it seemed to work out fine.

The other recipe is Hearty Hamburger Soup, I made this recipe a few weeks back, I found the recipe from Paper Pleasing Ideas found here. It is really, really yummy & quick to make, I like anything where I can use only one pot, a crockpot or a casserole, my kid’s loved this soup too, freezes well. Julie has some other yummy recipes on her blog.

Just wanted to say thanks ladies for sharing, I love trying new recipes!

March 9

Cowboy Casserole…

This recipe was passed on to me by my MIL, it is really yummy & good for you! My 9 year old made it for dinner tonight (with some help)! It is a very quick meal to make for dinner.

Cowboy Casserole

1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 lb Extra Lean or Lean Ground Beef Round (I used lean Ground Chicken)

1 to 2 tbsp Chili Powder

1 can no-salt added diced tomatoes (I didn’t worry about the no-salt, not an issue in our diet)

1 cup sodium-reduced chicken broth

1 can Heinz Deep-Browned or Original Beans in Tomato Sauce

2 cups frozen mixed vegetables (we used diced carrots)

2 cups dried wagon wheel or penne pasta (we used wacky pasta)

1. HEAT oil over medium-high heat in large heavy saucepan or Dutch Oven. Add onion and garlic; cook until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add beef, breaking up with wooden spoon; cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Drain, if desired.

2. STIR in chili powder, tomatoes, broth, canned beans and frozen vegetables; bring to boil.

3. STIR in pasta; reduce heat, cover and simmer until pasta is tender, about 15 minutes. Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 305 calories, 20 g protein, 8 g fat

February 18

Chocolate Muffins…

I made these yummy muffins yesterday afternoon. I tell you that Nick Jr. website has good recipes! This recipe is from my daughter’s cook book just like the last few recipes I have posted!

Chocolate Muffins (www.nickjr.com)

1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 cup milk

1/2 cup butter, melted

1/2 cup chocolate chips, optional

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease or line with paper cupcake liners in a 12 cup muffin pan.

2. Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and soda and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to blend.

3. Add the eggs, milk and melted butter. Stir until just blended. Stir in the chocolate chips. Spoon into the prepared pan. Bake until puffed and a toothpickm inserted in center comes out clean; 18-20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool 5 minutes. Invert and cool completely. Makes 12 muffins.

February 17

Yummy recipes…

My daughter made Fortune Cookies one night when I was out, they are very, very yummy!

Kai-lan’s Fortune Cookies (from www.nickjr.com)

2 egg whites

3 tbsp melted butter

1/2 cup flour

1 tsp corn starch

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 tsp almond extract

Pinch salt

3 tbsp water

1. Preheat oven to 325F. Spray several cookie sheets with vegetable cooking spray.

2. Whisk the egg whites in a medium bowl. Add the remaining ingredients, whisking until smooth. Spoon a generous tablespoon of the mixture on a prepared cookie sheet. Spread the batter into a 3 1/2-inch circle. Palce three circles on the sheet pan at a time about 2 inches apart.

3. Bake the cookies until golden brown, about 10-12 minutes. Transfer the cookie sheet to a wire rack. Working with one cookie at a time, fold in half, bottom facing each other. Pull the ends downward over the rim of a glass to make the shape. Hold cookie in place for several seconds to keep the shape. Repeat with the other cookies. If they become too firm, place in the oven to reheat slightly. Repeat with the remaining batter.

4. Use Kai-lan’s Fortune Slips printable to write some fortunes together with your child. Then, slip a fortune in each cookie.

My daughter & hubby made these on Valentine’s Day together, they are really, really tasty. They are kind of “crumbly” but, a tad moist at the same time, not sure if that makes sense, anyways, they taste REALLY good!

Applesauce Muffins (www.nickjr.com)

Makes 12 muffins.

2 cups all purpose flour

3/4 cup sugar

2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp salt

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1 cup unsweetened applesauce

1/2 cup butter, melted

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Grease or line with paper cupcake liners in a 12 cup muffin pan.

2. Combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk to blend.

3. Add the egg, applesauce and melted butter. Stir until just blended. Spoon into the prepared pan. Bake until puffed and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean; 18-20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and cool 5 minutes. Invert and cool completely.

I made these tonight, I had a bite of my hubby’s & they are really, really good! I found the link to this recipe from another blogger but, I can’t remember who…sorry! but, thanks!

Outrageous Chocolate Chip Cookies

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup white sugar

1/3 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1 egg

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup rolled oats

1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F.

2. In a medium bowl, cream together the butter, white sugar and brown sugar until smooth. Stir in the peanut butter, vanilla and egg until well blended. Combine the flour, baking soda and salt; stir into the batter just until moistened. Mix in the oats and chocolate chips until evenly distributed. Drop by tablespoons on to lightly greased cookie sheets.

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes in the preheated oven, until the edges start to brown. Cool on cookie sheets for about 5 minutes before transferring to wire racks to cool completely.

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January 30

Pleasin’ Peanut Butter Pancakes…

I picked up a free copy of Kraft What’s Cooking in Kraft Hockeyville at Wal-mart yesterday & I came across this receipe on page 2.

My kid’s love, love pancakes so I whipped up a batch this AM for my son &  hubby since my hubby is home this AM & my son gobbled them up, I like how they have foods in them to fuel your body instead of just “empty” pancakes.

I doubled the batch & I always use frozen unsweetened berries (for the topping) & I just heat them up on the stove with a bit of water & a bit of sugar to taste.

They even taste good all by themselves the way I tried one, so they would be good for running out the door on the way to school or practice. They are really moist.

Pleasin’ Peanut Butter Pancakes (Makes 4 servings, 3 pancakes each)

1 cup pancake mix

1/4 cup Kraft Light Smooth Peanut Butter

3/4 cup skim milk

1 large egg

1 1/2 tsp oil

3/4 cup sliced strawberries

1/3 cup maple syrup, warmed

HEAT nonstick griddle to 375F. Beat first 5 ingredients with whisk just until blended.

POUR 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto griddle; cook 2-3 minutes or until bottoms are golden brown. Turn to brown other sides.

SERVE topped with berries and syrup.

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January 24

What have I been up to???

**BEWARE EXTREMELY LONG POST!** Grab a latte, a tea or a coffee. It’s taken me sooo long to write this post that my tea is now cold!

Hello??? Where is Michelle you ask!!! Certainly not stamping you must be thinking…well you are indeed correct!!!

I have been busy with kid stuff, home stuff, you know life get’s in the way sometimes of what really matters to us!!!!

Let’s see: Last weekend we planned a trip to West Edmonton Mall, we would spend 2 nights in the Fantasyland Hotel, go to the Waterpark all day, do so skating, shopping & spend time as a family, well I got us all ready, hubby left early on Friday from work & off we went, we arrived at the hotel about 4PM, checked in, walked around the mall for a bit, played a round of Putt ‘n’ Glow mini golf where my kid’s fought & cried the whole time, after that we were looking for something for dinner & my son was whining the whole time that he wanted to go back to the room, we got back to the room where they proceeded to fight & whine so we put our foot down & said “that’s it, we are leaving, so I packed up (while listening to the kid’s crying the whole time saying “just one more chance Mommy” – NO! I mean how many chances do they think they deserve?) while my hubby checked us out & we were back on the road heading home by 7PM, the car ride home was horrible listening to my daughter freak out saying that she would be good, well I had enough & for once I followed thru with my decision. It was hard, but, it felt good, I was happy with what I had done. I really don’t think my kid’s take me seriously sometimes – sometimes I can be sooo weak as a parent.

Starting last Sunday we decided that we were going to plan our dinners for the week, so I got up early Sunday AM & printed out a “What’s for Dinner this Week” planner, can’t find the link now! & than I went to Kraft Canada’s website to find some new, yummy recipes, I use this website ALOT! I planned 4 of the dinners & than I asked the kid’s & hubby what they wanted, I than wrote everything down on the planner including side dishes & desserts if any, on the days that I wasn’t home in the evening, or we would be home later or I was busy during the day I would highlight that day so that I knew I had to have a dinner that was fast & easy to make or something I could throw in the crockpot first thing in the AM before I started my day. I really liked being able to look on the fridge & see what’s for dinner & what I had to do to prepare for each evening’s meal, it kept me on track & we tried out new recipes, it wasn’t boring which is what it had become since well before Christmas (when I became lazy thinking up dinner meals!).

This is what we had for dinner during the first week.

Monday – Capellini Caprese – my daughter loves Capellini Pasta so she picked this recipe, it was good but, I would use peppers next time instead of tomatoes, I’m not a big fan of cooked tomatoes & my hubby actually hates tomatoes so he picked them out & I would use a different Signature dressing & parmesan cheese instead of mozerella, but, it was still good! For dessert we had fat free Vanilla Pudding, Kiwi & Blackberries.

Tuesday – BBQ Beef Soft Taco’s – everybody loved these, they were yummy, I used Ground Chicken instead of beef though (not a huge fan of hamburger). If my daughter devours dinner than I definately know it’s a keeper!

Wednesday – Slow-Cooker Orange Chicken – Hubby prepared this Tuesday night & thru it in a big bowl & we stuck it in the fridge because I had to volunteer first thing Wednesday AM in my son’s class, all I had to do was dump everything into the slow cooker when I got home, it was good, very tasty but, I overcooked the chicken a bit (what else is new!!!). I served it with steamed rice & green beans.

Thursday – We went out for dinner (wasn’t planned but, I had an evening appt).

Friday – Beef Noodle Bowl – another keeper, the kid’s devoured this one too. For dessert the kid’s & hubby had kiwi & blackberries again with whip cream!

Saturday – Frittata – no link to a recipe. All I do is cook up bacon, than I take the bacon out & drain on some paper towels, than I cook up some hashbrowns, while the hashbrowns are cooking I whip up about 6-7 eggs in a bowl, once the hashbrowns are cooked & crispy I add the egg mixture to the frying pan, I let them cook together until cooked (no runny, slimey egg left!) than I add the bacon back to the frying pan & I sprinkle feta cheese on top, once the cheese is melted it’s all ready to eat – yummy! Served with salad.

Sunday – Pita Pizza’s – again no recipe. I use whole wheat Pita’s, pizza sauce, peppers, onions (whatever you like), I use black forest ham or Canadian Back Bacon for the lean protein & than top with feta & mozerella cheese, the kid’s love these!

We now have lots of leftovers in our freezer too which is great for hubby’s lunches!

We all got our hair cut finally, our daughter decided to cut off 7 inches of her hair which was news to me, I didn’t know she was thinking of doing it until we got to the haircut place, I thought we were just going in for a trim! than she informed me that she wanted her haircut like her music teacher’s…well it does look cute on her, but, she looks much older now :{

She couldn’t stop smiling the whole time!

We all really, really like her new hair cut, this is her first “hairstyle.”

My son is as handsome as ever!

I could just kiss him forever!

I on the otherhand have been “itching” with restlestness & boredom, kind of antsy (do you ever feel this way?) even though I have been busy running here & there I’ve been itching to do something different & that usually means changing my appearance, so I cut my hair shorter too (I’ll post a pic once I can get a good one!) & I got my 7th tattoo today! I love, love it, once it heals it will lighten up & be nice & vibrant. I found a tattoo artist that works out of his home in Panorama after much searching & emailing back & forth & viewing some of his work I decided to go & check out his home studio, I was impressed, so if you are looking for a place to get a tattoo let me know & I can tell you all about my fantastic experience.

I was suppose to get my 6th tattoo fixed today also but, we are going to sit on this one & figure out exactly how I want to fix it, I will go back in about 3 weeks. I got that one in August 2007 & have never been “satisfied” with it, out of all my tattoo’s this was the only one I was honestly disappointed with & it’s on the inside of my right arm, so in the Summer it’s all out in the open & I absolutely love what it stands for: “FAITH“. Every one of my tattoo’s has meaning & they are all tasteful & if I choose to they can all be covered up, heck in the Winter no one even knows I’m tattooed!

Since the New Year I’ve been back on the work out wagon, weight loss is slow going right now but, I will keep at it, I am sick of Winter though, the cold & snow here is getting to be a bit much & I can’t wait to get back outside walking every AM – I miss that time to plug in, walk & be lost in my thoughts.

I’ve seen a couple of movies:

I really, really enjoyed this movie, dark but, what a great story.

I was expecting more from this movie, don’t get me wrong it’s good but, very, very SLOW! Secret affairs, lots of drinking & smoking…Kate Winslet & Leonardo DiCaprio do have amazing chemistry of course, but, towards the end of the movie you can definately see where they are heading with the ending.

We purchased a Cuisinart Espresso machine last weekend, I have a weakness for latte’s, I don’t drink coffee just latte’s!!! (ya ya I know it’s coffee!) & now I have my hubby hooked too! So we thought by purchasing an espresso machine that in the long run we would save money! So after spending months looking & searching my friend introduced me to the Cuisinart one, she showed me how it works & made me a latte one morning, yummy! So after that I was sold & I searched for it on sale & I found it on sale at London Drugs – yippee!!!

I have now been trying to perfect the perfect latte, I’m still struggling with steaming & frothing the milk but, it will all come together soon enough, it’s definately fun, it’s like learning a new hobby all over again!

Well both the kid’s have birthday parties this weekend & next week is shaping up to be another busy week for me, I have a Copic class that I am taking at The Scrapbook Pantry which I am very excited to be taking, I have been waiting forever to take a class & I also start my Fundamentals of Photography class here in Airdrie which I have been waiting to take for a long time also, I’m hoping that my photography skills will improve immensely or that I’ll at least know how to use my camera in manual mode instead of auto all the time!

Well if you are still reading this post than thank you, you really do care about what I’m up to!!!

I do plan on stamping sometime this weekend for Viva la Verve! Week 4 challenge & I do have some other projects that I would like to complete.

Stay tuned…