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Once in a while my dad gets into the mood and cooks things he ‘used to’ make when he had his restaurant. We had beef pot roast the previous night and I guess there was that much leftover that he got creative and whipped up his beef pot pies vs having pot roast dinner another night. Very rare.  Total surprise. He even made the dough from scratch and used shortening!  HOLY. YUMMERS!  Super flaky. Super delish. Devoured by all and there was definitely no leftovers that night.  Now if only I could get his recipe….think he’d share? 😉

Do you enjoy beef pot pie? Got a recipe to share?

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All I have to say is OMG I LOVE THE NEW STOVE!!!

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Check out the centre griddle action!

I had decided to celebrate the new stove by making a big breakfast for everyone vs the usual easy oatmeal or toast options that we gravitate towards.

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Bacon, eggs & blueberry pancakes it was! (Coffee too of course 😉 )

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The other night I was craving something sweet but not overly indulgent. As I rifled through the cupboards, I stumbled upon a box of After Eight hot chocolate mix and decided to give it a whirl. I added whipped cream to make it that much more indulgent (and to prevent me from wanting a ‘do-over’ the following day shelling out $5)

Totally did the trick. :). What’s your fave way to enjoy hot chocolate?

As you know, we’re not ones to celebrate/observe all the holidays however we do enjoy corned beef with cabbage.   And to be honest, we did have our ‘festive meal’ (though sometimes routine in our menu rotation) on Friday. We were ahead of the game 😉

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Wishing those that celebrate a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

I made these super easy and simply delicious Cake Mix Cookie Bars for dessert on Valentine’s Day 2014 using and substituting what I had on hand in the pantry. Talk about being frugal 😉 It barely took me 10 minutes from gathering the ingredients to getting them into the oven.

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Ingredients

  • 1 boxed cake mix – I used double chocolate mix
  • 1/2c vegetable oil  – I used canola
  • 1/2c sugar – I used coconut sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
  • 1c chocolate chips, M&M’s or other candy toppings – I used a mix of pumpkin spice & coconut M&M’s

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Mix ingredients together and spread into a 9×13″ pre-greased pan. (note: this will make a stiff dough)
  3. Bake for 25-30 Minutes. (I baked for 20 mins and yielded perfectly soft centred cookie bars)
  4. Cut into bars. (I let cool for 10 mins in pan before flipping onto a cooling rack and allowed to cool another 10 mins before cutting)
  5. Store in an airtight container. Should last a week stored on the counter but I wouldn’t know. Ours were devoured within 3 days and that was torture trying to make them last that long 😀

You can find the original recipe here.

I don’t know if it’s a case of the winter blah’s, me being tired of routine meals (dad’s been stuck in a rut lately and has been cycling through the same 5 meals back to back) or my new ‘nesting’ instinct from being pregnant but I was really craving something different for dinner.  Dad was ecstatic for two reasons. Firstly, it was something “we” don’t eat at home (he always refuses to eat Thai when we’re out though the hubster and I offer to bring it home for him). Secondly, this one simple fact: he didn’t have to cook it nor clean up after it.

This dish was very easy to throw together and cook. I was done in under 30 minutes granted I did use a prepared sauce from a jar (yes, I totally cheated and feel no guilt about it) and prepped both the veggies  and chicken beforehand so when it came time to cook, it literally was a ‘throw it together in one pot and let it do its thing’ type affair. Who doesn’t like easy peasy?

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Saute 1lb thinly sliced chicken for about 5 minutes – does not need to be fully cooked.
(You can use dark or white meat. I used what we had on hand – chicken breasts)

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Start the rice!
(Have I told you how much I love this lil thing?)

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Add the sliced veggies to the pan with the partially cooked chicken, stir well and let partially saute/get soft. At this point, I slapped the lid on and left the two of them to get their freak on for about 5 minutes. Unsupervised of course. 😉

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While waiting, I opened the sauce and took a taste. WOW. Hello concentrated flavours!  At this point, knowing that dad isn’t a fan of strong flavours I immediately decided that I’d need to water down the sauce just a tad for him.  Figured I’d rinse out the jar with a bit of water vs scraping it to death with a spatula trying to get my entire $3 of sauce worth outta it.

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Next, I added the sauce (including the shaken out sauce remainders from the jar) then mixed well.
Let it sit, mingle and get their ‘party on’. Again, without supervision under cover of course.  Probably another 10 minutes.

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Once the rice was done and the curry was ready, I plated it up.
Its totally Ok. You can admit it looks tasty 😉

Dad was served the first plate.  He eagerly snatched up his spoon and dove in.   He took 3 good long bites, carefully trying to taste everything and his only comments were ‘Its good. But no salt?’ Um…the salt I’m pretty sure is in the sauce there dad. I didn’t add any extra, that’s for sure. (We’ve been omitting extra salt in our cooking due to dad having had his TIA. I figured the jar had enough already in it) He then added that he did like it but worried we wouldn’t have liked it due to lack of salt.   He’s cute, no?  BTW in case you were wondering, it was plenty flavourful for both the hubster and I. Even without the extra salt.

Bonus – this was a very frugal meal for 4 generous sized portions cooked at home. The cost of ingredients used to make this was about the cost of 1-2 portions out at a Thai restaurant.

What’s your favourite easy peasy/one pot meal?

The hubster and I aren’t the type that believe in Hallmark holidays (well, putting money into someone else’s pockets for no good reason). Don’t get us wrong but why would we choose to celebrate our love for one another on one specific day, as dictated by someone else?  What about the other 364 days of the year? Since we aren’t celebrating on those days, does that mean we don’t love one another?  Its a bizarre concept to me. Maybe I am (we are) the only odd ball(s) that thinks that way. But at least we’re on the same page about it 🙂  Not trying to belittle this holiday either as it may move mountains for some while others want to bury their heads in the sand or jump off a bridge – its all about marketing IMO.

So to observe this holiday (rather then celebrate) – we do it in our own lil way. (I guess we do that with all the holidays)
I decided to make a nice dinner for us to enjoy. (dad too!)   It’s something I don’t make often so it truly is a treat for us.

Pulled pork. 🙂

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Served up traditional style – on buns (hubby’s fave way to eat it)

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Served on a bed of rice (dad’s fave way to eat this) with garden salad

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Dessert: cake mix cookie bars – HOLY. YUMMERS!
(this was like crack to the hubster and I, we couldn’t stop after eating just one.)

Le moo.

Suffice to say, I showed love to everyone’s stomach this year. Mission accomplished!

How did you celebrate/observe Valentine’s Day?

At dad’s request – we made an effort to gather the entire family for Chinese New Year’s Eve Dinner.  Dad’s request was made very last minute despite all his children checking in earlier within the month to see if we were going to gather for the annual tradition.

This year that happened to take place on the eve of Thursday January 30th, 2014.

Below are pics from our feast 🙂

1623622_590569227700368_1087430720_nFish Maw & Seafood Thick Soup

1779345_590569257700365_165776747_nBBQ Combination Platter (with Cold Jellyfish Salad)

1724482_590569214367036_701007771_nFried Pork loin with Chef’s Sauce

1653680_590569111033713_1709149972_nDouble Lobsters With Ginger & Green Onion Sauce

1606876_590569191033705_754757715_nShrimp, Octopus, Candied Walnuts On Broccoli

1798655_590569171033707_733070158_nDried Oysters (reconstituted) With Mushrooms On Bed Of Lettuce

1016241_590569151033709_1174394751_nFried Pickerel In Soya Sauce

1660588_590569131033711_1185997445_nFried Pickerel In Soya Sauce

fried rice
House Fried Rice
(source)

e fu noodles
E-Fu Noodles w/Mushrooms
(source)

Red Bean SoupSweet Red Bean Soup
(source)

8204_590569241033700_1874672076_nDessert
(Almond Cookies & Red Bean Cookies)

Everyone left with full bellies, QT with dad and the rest of the family and leftovers (*lol*) to ring in the new year.

2014 – The Year Of The Horse!
horse(source)

Just wanted to pop in and let y’all know that I really am alive still despite my lack of posts lately – explanation to come later.  I also wanted to wish y’all a Happy Halloween and to share a ‘find’ from Target this week 😀

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Oh and my dad felt compelled to carve our one and only pumpkin from our garden.  I left him to do his thing  as I ran errands this morning and came home to find this – he used his power tools and all. I wasn’t sure what to expect.

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Not bad for an 82 yr old right? 😉

FoodWasteFriday My apologies as this post is very late!!   I was busy prepping the house for guests and hosting Thanksgiving.  Let’s just say a great time was had by all and plentiful tasty food was enjoyed 🙂    Below are a few pics of the weekend’s food festivities!

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The guest of honour 😉

IMG_5214Pineapple Glazed Ham

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The table w/veggies, bread & butter and 2 types of homemade cranberry sauce

IMG_5210This was my father’s plate – he loves the turkey legs!

Not shown was the apple dressing/stuffing and two pies which were for dessert – apple & pumpkin.

BTW: There was no food waste last week as I purposely tried to not buy much knowing the upcoming weekend would involve a  HUGE grocery shopping trip.  *thumbs up*

On Friday’s, I share what food items that I have ‘wasted’ by letting spoil during the week from forgetfulness and/or neglect. Kristen over at The Frugal Girl has inspired me to publicly post in hopes of reducing waste. (Food Waste Friday is now being co-hosted every other week with Simply Being Mum – pop on over to take a peek!)

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