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We just went through a crazy hot and humid spell – IN SPRING I might add and since, I seem to have become very addicted to Perrier.   I have no clue where sudden new love came from but it started to get so out of hand that I actually contemplated buying in bulk from Costco! Whoa, right?   So not good for the grocery budget. Especially something that’s gone once you’re done drinking it.  There’s no justification for purchasing it either.

Out of necessity, I had to figure out a way to duplicate this tasty drink without breaking the bank.  I put on my creative thinking cap and pondered.

What is Perrier? Carbonated water. Soda water. Club Soda.  Woot. Got a few cans in the pantry.  (Yes, I’m one of the few oddballs that enjoys drinking plain club soda)

What flavour of Perrier do I enjoy? Lemon.  Hey…I have True Lemon in the pantry too!

A can of generic Club Soda + 1 packet of True Lemon = instant homemade Perrier! Now I know there are some purists out there that would like to disagree but for myself and I’m sure other frugliates out there, this will be a welcomed substitute.

Can you imagine my shock as I had that epiphany? Here I was paying the high price for Perrier when I had all the makings for it at home, right under my nose!  There’s something about the True Lemon that a wedge (or two or three) just can’t duplicate.  And the other flavours of True Citrus (orange, lime) are just as tasty.

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I think I have found my new summer drink. 😉

Ever since the hubster and I have been together, we’ve always talked about our love of baking with all of its up’s and down’s.  He’s baked professionally in his past whereas I’ve only dabbled in personal ventures.  All my baking has been limited to simple recipes without fancy tools and gadgets. I’ve always dreamed of having a mixer as almost every recipe out there calls for the use of one.

Over a year ago, we saw a super awesome deal on a Kitchen Aid Mixer and went to snap one up for ourselves so we could ‘bake together’.  When we went to buy it, there was a store ordering mix up and the store was offering the higher end professional series for the price of the lower model.  (Thank you Canadian Tire for screwing up!)  We got it home but have kept it in hiding because this was not a gadget we’d like dad to try to use get his hands on.  Selfish? Yes.  Smart move? Oh yes.

Something must’ve been in the air because the hubster decided to dig out the mixer and bake some homemade bread. I just about died when he said that too.


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Isn’t she purdy? 🙂

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Mixing the dough.

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Rising loaves.

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Hmm…wonder what’s in there?

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The ‘before’ shot.

See the rolls? The hubster showed me how to ‘properly’ make a roll. Man does that ever take some patience elbow grease!

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Brushing tops with butter to help keep it soft and enhance colour if you ask me.

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All the loaves have been buttered and are now cooling.
WAIT! Whats that up in the top right hand corner of the pic?
That would be the hubster trying to sneak a roll for ‘quality assurance’ 😉

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Looks super enticing no?
Even if there’s a roll clearly missing. 😉

The house smelled wonderful all night after we cleaned up from baking.  And yes, the mixer is back in its original box, in hiding from dad.

Do you have/use a mixer? Fave thing to make with it?

This post inspired by dad who decided – out of the blue – to make a ‘from scratch’ homemade chicken pot pie for dinner.    Dad used to own a restaurant so the recipe is all in his head.  Not bad for an 81 yr old huh? 😀

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He made the filling. Luscious and creamy chicken filling. Yum!
I could eat this on its own, no pie crust needed.

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The pie crust was made (sorry, didn’t catch pics of that process) and filling spooned in.   Note that he’s packing it all in. LOVE overstuffed pie filling.

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Egg washing the crust before adding the top crust.

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Patting the top crust on to ‘secure’ it to the pie.
(sorry the pic was blurry – he was constantly spinning it around – he’s quick!)

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Trimming the top crust.
(Again, another action shot as he spun & trimmed super quick)

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Egg washing the top to ensure the crust gets a nice golden colour.

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If only I could attach a smell with this pic. Heaven!
See how well the egg wash worked?

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Look at the filling oozing out.
Trust me, it was just as tasty as leftovers the day after.

Have you made your own homemade pot pie? How did it turn out?

As the summer keeps rolling on,  I noticed my basil plant was starting to seed or flower.  I decided to hack it down to the bare roots and let it re-grow for round two.  (Secretly hoping I didn’t kill it!)  I harvested all I could from the trimmed basil stems, washed and dried them.

I’ve always wanted to try my hand at homemade pesto but sadly I had no nuts in the house and wasn’t about to add PB to the mix ‘to try’ LOL  Instead,  I decided to leave it at basil and garlic.   Start simple right?

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I’ll admit, I did cheat and use store bought, pre-minced garlic.


As you can see, I do not have a food processor and have read numerous horror stories about failed homemade pesto attempts done in a blender BUT I had an idea!  (yes I know, I’m not making a pesto but close enough)

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In the blender: basil leaves and EVOO

I tried my lil trick and discovered that it worked.   Don’t get me wrong, it was painstakingly slow but I kept at it!

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Adding in more basil leaves, EVOO and now garlic as it started to finally ‘blend’.  At this point, you can start to do a taste test and decide upon how much salt & pepper you’d like to add.

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Voila! Homemade basil-garlic sauce.

I chose to freeze it since we will not be using it right away.   My plan is to thaw it the night before we grill up some steaks and veggies and use it on a side of freshly boiled pasta. Maybe even serve the pasta chilled?

Do you make your own pesto or other variations on basil based sauces?

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