Food-tastic Friday ~ October 12, 2012

Good afternoon!  Time for another installment of Food-Tastic Friday. I would love to have all of you play along.  It’s a way to get ideas and recipes for what sometimes can be really monotonous:  Meal Planning.  We plan our menu every week and then grocery shop accordingly.  This helps us cut down on costs at the grocery store.

Here are the rules:

  1. Post your weekly menu
  2. Post one recipe that you will be making.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy! (you can put a picture up too)
  3. Link up down in the comment section and put a link to my blog post so everyone can get their culinary creativity juices flowing!

Menu ~ Saturday October 13 ~Friday October 19

Saturday ~ Salsa Couscous Chicken

Sunday ~ Turkey Pot Pie

Monday ~ Roast Beef, Potatoes, Veggie

Tuesday ~ Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup and Fresh Bread

Wednesday ~ Ham and Mushroom Quiche, Salad

Thursday ~ Balsamic Flank Steak, Rice, Veggies

Friday ~ Lasagna & Caesar Salad

I love this time of year, hearty soups and stews are my favourite comfort foods.

We found this recipe at All Recipes for a crockpot Barley Soup.  I put the link to the recipe up in the menu, but here’s a copy:

Slow Cooker Beef Barley Soup

  • 1 1/2 pounds of boneless lean beef cubed
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 3 cans beef broth
  • 6 cups water
  • 4 stalks celery chopped
  • 6 carrots chopped
  • 6 green onions chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 cup barley
  • 1 tsp dried thyme


  1. In a skillet over medium heat, saute the beef in the oil for 5 minutes, or until browned. Stir in the salt, pepper and garlic powder and place seasoned meat in a slow cooker. Add a little water to the skillet and stir to pick up the browned bits. Add to the slow cooker.
  2. Add the broth, water, celery, carrots, green onions, parsley and barley. Cover and cook on low setting for 6 to 8 hours, or until the vegetables and barley are tender. Add the thyme just before serving.

Sounds yummy, doesn’t it?  We’ll let you know!

So, what’s on your menu this week?


Car Woes Update

Last week I talked about how Murphy had come to visit with both cars for 3 different things.

I am happy to say that other than the tires that we purchased on our credit card, all the labour and the other parts for the cars have been paid for with cash.  We were able to cash in some hours that Shane had banked and that pretty much covered it.

What I am truly thankful for, is that we went to the mechanic that my parents have been going to for years.  He didn’t charge us an arm and a leg.  At Canadian Tire, where they put the new tires on, they told me that I would have to replace both front wheel bearings (only the left front was loose) and have an alignment and it would be 2 hours labour.  They quoted us $500.00.  I am happy I said no, because the mechanic said that we only needed the left front, and that the alignment wasn’t necessary as everything looked good.  One hour labour and the part came to $177.00.   Three hundred and twenty-three dollars savings!

I honestly think that Canadian Tire was counting on me being stupid and scared to drive on the loose bearing.  I won’t be going back there again, that is for sure!

So cross all your crossables that we are done for the time being and we won’t have any more car trouble for a while.

So much for a lazy day…

I said in my post earlier today that I wanted to have a lazy day…that didn’t happen as planned, LOL.

First I made this Sock Monkey Hat.  Isn’t this the cutest thing?  This is made for a toddler girl:

Then I made a Mince Pumpkin Loaf that you can find the recipe for on our recipe page:

Then I finished off the purple hat in this custom order…it’s ready to go!

Then I made these Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars…so delicious!

Then I made the Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole for dinner.  So the lazy day wasn’t so lazy.  Poor Amy was sick in bed with a nasty cold, Shane painted.  Tomorrow it’s back to work. 

I thoroughly enjoyed my long weekend…how about you?

Sunday Night/Monday Morning Chit Chat ~ October 8, 2012

  • Our Thanksgiving table

Time for another installment of Sunday Night Chit Chat! 

What are you…


  • Austan asked to read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer.  There are some books that we insist on reading before the kids do, because we want to make sure we are prepared for any questions and this was one of them.  I volunteered to read it.  I tried to read it before, but after 3 chapters I had had enough of the main character,  so I stopped.  I am currently up to chapter 13 and my first impressions are still ringing true and I am not enjoying it at all.   Oh well, we all can’t like the same things right?   If it gets Austan reading (he is our reluctant reader), then I will read the whole darn series with a forced  smile on my face.


  • We ended up watching a wonderful documentary on Kevin Clash called “Being Elmo – A Puppeteers Journey”.    The CBC news program “The Passionate Eye” aired it last night.  It was wonderful.  Shane had no idea that the puppeteer behind Elmo was a 52-year-old African-American man!

Listening to?

  • The kids playing and Shane doing dishes


  • I did our Turkey dinner with all the trimmings last night and baked 2 pumpkin pies.  Not sure that I will bake anything today, I think I want a lazy day, just crocheting.

Happy you accomplished this week?

  • Got to scrapbook a bit on Saturday, almost finished a custom order, and we got through Thanksgiving dinner very nicely!

Looking forward to next week?

  • Bowling on Friday night and relaxing on Saturday…we’ve hardly had time to think in the last week.  I will also look forward to all our cars being fixed, FINALLY!

Thankful for today?

  • My beautiful family, my fabulous friends, a job I love, having a roof over my head and being the happiest I have been in years.  Life is good 🙂

Bonus Question: Do you “switch out” your purse when the seasons change?

  • Yep, I go from a small cross body bag to a bigger purse  so I can fit my gloves/mitts in them.  My very generous sister gave me one of her gently used Coach purses (actually she gave me two!  One I will use next summer because it’s white and light blue), and I just love it!

My “new to me” Coach purse…just LOVE it!

Go on over to visit Carla at My 1/2 Dozen Daily to see what other people are chatting about and join in!

Food-Tastic Friday! ~ Friday, October 5, 2012

Welcome to my inaugural Food-Tastic Friday!

What is it you may ask?  Well, while trying to figure out some ideas to make the blog more fresh, and to get me blogging more again, I came up with the idea of doing something based on our weekly menu, recipes and food budget.  So Food-Tastic Friday is born.  I am hoping people will follow along and post their food-tastic menus and recipes and link up so we can all get some fresh ideas!   I know I can always use more ideas for feeding this big family of ours!

So, here are the rules:

  1. Post your weekly menu
  2. Post one recipe that you will be making.  It doesn’t have to be anything fancy! (you can put a picture up too)
  3. Link up down in the comment section and put a link to my blog post so everyone can get their culinary creativity juices flowing!

So with that, here’s my Food-Tastic Friday:


Saturday ~ Oktoberfest Sausage, Baked Potato, Salad

Sunday ~ Thanksgiving Dinner ~ Roast Turkey, Sausage Stuffing, Mashed Potatoes, Gravy, Sweet Potatoes, Squash, Broccoli and Carrots.  Pumpkin Pie and Raspberry Apple Pie for dessert (Shane stopped in at the Big Apple on his way home from Ottawa this afternoon).

Monday ~ Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole and Veggies

Tuesday ~ Beef & Broccoli Stir-fry over rice

Wednesday ~ Spinach and Onion Quiche, Salad

Thursday ~ Mustard Chicken, veggies, Brown Rice

Friday ~ Baked Pasta with Veal


Our absolute favourite recipe to make with our leftovers is Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole.  I found the recipe at All a few years ago and we have it every time we make a turkey dinner.  Sometimes I think the family likes it more than the regular Thanksgiving feast.  This recipe is also on my recipe page.

Thanksgiving Leftover Casserole


  • 3 tablespoons Butter
  • 2 tablespoons All purpose flour
  • 12 ounces evaporated milk 
  • 1 cups Water
  • 1/4 teaspoons Salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons Fresh ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoons Onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons Butter
  • 1 cups Dry bread stuffing
  • 1 cups Diced turkey meat 
  • 1 cups Shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 cups Mashed potatoes

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Melt 3 tablespoons butter in a saucepan over low heat. Blend in the flour. Slowly stir in evaporated milk and water, then season with salt, pepper, and onion powder. Stir sauce over low heat for 5 minutes.
In a separate saucepan over low heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Blend in the dry stuffing mix. Place the turkey in the prepared baking dish. Pour the sauce over turkey, then sprinkle with Cheddar cheese. Spread mashed potatoes over cheese. Top mashed potatoes with the stuffing mixture.
Bake 45 minutes in the preheated oven.

If you want to join in on Food-Tastic Friday, don’t forget to link me up! 

Wishing all my Canadian Friends “Happy Thanksgiving”.  I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!

An 1812 Experience…

A few weeks ago, our 12-year-olds, Allen and Austan, got to go on what I think was a really cool experience.  They went with their scout troop to Fort George in Niagara-On-The-Lake, ON and took part in a re-enactment of one of the battles of the War of 1812.

I just wanted to share a few pictures:

The uniforms

Head dress



Allen in his British soldier uniform (he died several times over the course of 2 battles, LOL).  There was a better photo than this, but there were other kids in the picture, and I didn’t think their parents would appreciate me plastering their kids all over the net!

I wish I could say that they both want to go back there, but Allen has decided he will stay home next year (it wasn’t his thing and it was too loud for his sensory issues)…Austan on the other hand, wants to go back. 

I love Scouting!  The kids get so many cool opportunities.

If things happen in threes…

Then our car issues should be finished!

After we had the flat on the van yesterday and purchased our tires, we came home and I decided to take the car to go out to get a few things at the dollar store.  I started the car and was just about to put it in drive and Shane runs up and opens my car door and said “Don’t move!” (scared the living daylights out of me).  Apparently the starter relay kept trying to start the car even though the car had started!  He could hear it.  I turned the car off, and it was still going.  We had to dislodge the battery and push the car into the parking spot.  We had it towed this morning to the mechanic.  We haven’t heard back yet, so we’re not sure how much that will cost.  Starter relays are cheap, so we don’t think that much, but knowing our luck, they will find something else wrong.

So that’s TWO things.

Today, I took the tires back to Canadian Tire to have them installed on the van as they couldn’t do it yesterday.  When it was finished, the mechanic called and said that the front left wheel bearing was loose and we should have it fixed.  OY VEY!!!  I can still drive, but it needs to be done soon.  So I told him to leave it for now and we’d take care of it next week.

That’s THREE.

So if things happen in threes, we should be done…

Needing lots of positive thoughts right now.  Shane has a lot of overtime banked, so we’ll be cashing it in…we were hoping to use some of that for Christmas. 

Murphy GO HOME!!!!!