Tag: cookies

A jumble of goodness.

At the dinner table we always share a “highlight of the day”. This December we’ve had so many highlights. Here are a few:

Oyster Bay Chardonnay from NZ and Sanders caramels from Costco.

Perfect pairing.



I solicited the help of a wee kindie to assist in making a sample piece of artwork for our craft day next Friday. She was all painted up and gleeful to be in the P office on the rolling chair. I just love the positive energy of the little ones. “I can do it missakenzie!” when I was about to squirt some paint into a tray, and afterwards, shrieking “the soap is green!” when washing the green paint off of her hands. Joyful moments.


So proud.

A follow-up a call from the receptionist at my Endodontist. She told me that she worked something out. What? What do you mean? Well, I wanted to do something, so I … let me just work this out … instead of $2505.00 per tooth… it will be $1791.00. Um … what?? Why would you do that?

“I just wanted to do something.”

I have no idea if how she managed to do it. How she might have approached her boss and explained our situation – with Bree not able to be on my medical plan and the Healthy Smiles program not covering repairs on root canals. ‘It takes a village to raise a child’.


My staff coming together time and again to make school an awesome place for the kids – so much evidence of their efforts in December! Happy kids performing at our outdoor Christmas Concert, kids participating in a full day of creative crafting, sledding sessions on the hill, the creation of gorgeous center pieces, spirit days, secret Santa … the list goes on and on. For me it all comes down to my staff. They are willing to pull together and go the extra mile for the kids. And it shows.

Each year our good friends Michael and Deborah invite us over to decorate Christmas cookies and share a meal. They make a point of inviting different families to participate each year. This year they invited the Syrian family that they’ve been sponsoring. It was a lovely afternoon and I was grateful that my children had the opportunity to connect with Nour and Hashem and their children.

Our future.


My brother is home from his work gig in the U.K. It was the first time in eons that all three of us were together for Christmas. So special!


Let Them Eat Cake

Friday night I picked up the girls after they had been earning a few community service hours. They’d been helping to set up for a fundraiser for Jamaican Self Help (an organization near and dear to my heart).  While there I spied the bake table that my mom had told me about earlier in the month (“Do you think you could bake anything?”). So I went home and made 1 1/2 dozen giant peanut butter cookies, wrapped them and priced them for the sale. Done. And I ate one.

Saturday I went to the sale (to drop off the cookies and spend some money), then dropped in to my favourite antique store on the way home. Picked up a lovely cake plate and cover for $12 (steel is a bitch – it took a long time to take a pic that didn’t reveal me in my pjs in too much detail). I also found two small carbon steel pans for Paul and I ($20 each, which may be a great deal but the jury is still out). A while ago I read an article outlining the horrors of cooking with a non-stick (aka coated) pan … it’s a miracle I’m still alive, according to the article. So I watched a couple of vids on You Tube and have decided that I need to make the switch so that I live longer and stop poisoning my children. According to an informative Cook’s vid, the best one is Matfer Bourgeat. It’s approx a 12″ pan, and with shipping and tax would be about $100, so I thought the wee ones for $20 were decent. They have an 8 on the handle which refers to something that only other people know. (It’s got a 4″ diameter base and flares to 6 1/2″, so you can stop thinking those thoughts…)  Can’t wait to make an omelette in mine and see how much oil I have to add so that scrambled eggs won’t stick it does.

Made my fav layered chocolate cake Saturday evening. It’s my Uncle Ian’s 80th sometime soon and we’re having dinner with him tomorrow, so OF COURSE we need a traditional birthday cake! My recipe was given to me from a fav secretary approx 20 years ago. It’s “Bid’s Chocolate Cake” but I changed the recipe to “Super Chocolate Cake” after I gave it to several people and they were “uh, who’s Bid?”. In my head I think Bid is short for Sheryl or Sheila but that makes no sense. I have had too much wine though, so whatever. ANYHOW, it’s been the “go to” birthday cake since that time (you can tell by the condition of the recipe card). The best thing about this cake is that it’s always moist and rich and it’s made with super basic ingredients. Butter, sugar, eggs, dutch cocoa, flour, water, baking soda, baking powder, salt. That’s it. It gets better the 2nd day too. Not kidding. Probably even better on day 3 but haven’t had the chance to find that out. (Go ahead, roll your eyes.)

Dana, my CYW and fellow blogger who won’t actually turn her blog on, has told me to get a fancy recipe widget that will make a recipe card that you can print from. OMG I got freaked out after the first paragraph. So forget it. If you really want the recipe, leave me a comment and I’ll happily add it to the post.

Once the cake was baked I decided to utilize the heat of the oven and make some granola, since I’m out and I can also give some to Uncle Ian as a gift. (Seriously, what do you give an 80 year old?) It’s a fab recipe given to me by my good friend Deborah. I wrote about it on another blog post. Go make it! So crunchy and yummy and healthy-ish:

Finally, made the icing, sliced the cake into 4 layers, iced it and TA DA! What a beauty.

And… delicious.



Back to the Cabin (again)

The fam made it through the first week of school pretty well. Rough start for the eldest who was suffering from a brutal cold, but she rallied and managed 3 rugby practices to boot. The youngest has a new morning routine that seems to help him to be prepared for the bus. We shall see. Still in the honeymoon phase of school, as they say.

Lastnight we arrived to the lake at dusk – Paul unpacked quickly and loaded the boat while I searched for a wayward sleeping bag in mom’s bunkie. Called for the boy as we were set to leave – he was on the swing with his EarPods in … just enjoying the view.


We booked it across the bay without having a flashlight – not the MOST dangerous thing I’ve done at the lake in my lifetime, but not exactly a good demonstration of safe boating for the kids, either. Mental note, always pack out the flashlight.

Today I found time to drink tea, read some favorite blogs, check the fridge and freezer to see what food we had available, and decide what I wanted to bake. Then I baked. And even quilted. And drank more tea. It was like heaven. Especially with the lovely assortment of chocolate bars that Paul brought from the marina. Love the man.


First things first, though. I started off by searching through the pantry and I found some crystallized ginger that seemed to be calling my name. I also came to the startling realization that there was only 1/2 lb of butter left for the entire weekend! OMG. My heart! In addition to the butter problem was my knowledge that while the lake was calm & the sun was peering through, there was enduring rain in the forecast. Whatever, the kids can tube later. MUST. HAVE. BAKING.

Interrupting these thoughts, breakfast. It’s always great here – because of both Paul’s high-fat high-carb spread and the animated conversation … today Paul’s tutorial about how to make the cheesy eggs, Annie’s about how to scare away fishermen in the bay with messy morning hair and me with what I should bake (Liam was dying to tutorialize us with his rubic’s cube coding, but we’d had enough lastnight during Yahtzee.) Of most interest to me of course was the baking plan. We narrowed it down to peanut butter cookies, ginger cookies and gingerbread with cream cheese icing. Paul was indifferent since he doesn’t injest sugar I know, right? but the kids and I were equally vocal about our choices.


Sent Paul to the marina to get butter, dragging the kids behind the boat. Win-win. Only cost him an arm. I was in business.

First up was gingerbread with cream cheese icing (because that’s my pic, obv). Looking at the recipe, I disn’t have cloves or applesauce – but I could make the latter. No problem. Thanks be to God for The Bullet.

Made a quick boat trip to mom’s cottage to raid the pantry for ground cloves. No luck. Found allspice though. What the hell IS allspice, anyway?? Found out from Google that “allspice comes from a single tree, but tastes like a mixture of cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves” and that it can be substituted for cloves. Hurrah. Made the cake. Odd. It’s dark brown in the photo on Pinterest. It was light brown in my bowl. Shouldn’t it have molasses in it? Shouldn’t it have eggs? These days I’m working on suspending my disbelief. I tossed it in the oven… and got down to mixing up the peanut butter cookie dough.

The kids loved the cookies. Paul even ate TWO. Pigs will fly tonight. Finally, iced the gingerbread cake … and enjoyed a bite slice.



This gingerbread cake is THE BOMB. Check it out at http://www.lecremedelacrumb.com/2015/11/gingerbread-loaf.html.