Thursday, June 30, 2011

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries

Pinterest is a fantastic place. If I’m bored, I’ll often navigate my way over there for a few minutes to gather some inspiration. One of my favorite ways to get inspired is through the food that’s posted, which is exactly how these cheesecake stuffed strawberries came about. I had seen them pinned dozens of times, but never repinned them myself because they just didn’t inspire me at first. Time went on, and I found myself thinking of these strawberries more and more. I brushed it off at first because Stephen doesn’t like cheesecake. I thought about making them to serve at the Canada Day BBQ that we’re hosting tomorrow, but then an opportunity to serve them even sooner presented itself last weekend.

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My friends hosted a backyard fire/BBQ with a couple other people, and I knew that I needed to try them out. After all, I was going to be meeting new people and I had to wow them with my dessert skills. The plate of strawberries did not last long! I think people were mostly impressed with the fact that I had the patience to hollow out the strawberries. Regardless, these little strawberries were addictive and worth every bit of effort. My only advice is that if you can, wait to dip the strawberries into the crushed graham crackers until just before you serve them, as the graham cracker tends to go soft if left on the cheesecake for too long.

Cheesecake Stuffed Strawberries
From Sugar Derby

20-ish strawberries
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
10 graham crackers

1. Wash your strawberries, then cut off the tops. Using a small paring knife, hollow out your strawberries. Set aside.
2. In a medium sized bowl, beat your cream cheese. Mix in icing sugar and vanilla and beat until smooth.
3. Transfer the cheesecake filling from the bowl to a piping bag (or a ziplock bag with a corner cut off). Fill up your strawberries, with enough cheesecake filling to come up over the top.
4. Crush your graham crackers, then dip the end with the protruding cheesecake filling into the graham cracker crumbs. Instant perfection! Try not to eat them all.


june 24 036june 24 037{Use a paring knife to hollow out the strawberries.}

june 24 039{Use a piping bag to fill the strawberries with cheesecake filling.}

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june 24 046{Dip the strawberries into graham cracker crumbs, then enjoy!}

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Postcard Giveaway

If you’re anything like me, then you love sending (and receiving!) snail mail. Now that the Canada Post strike is over, I suddenly have a desire to send out a surge of mail to some of my favorite people. Those of you that love sending snail mail, do you have a little stationery stash like I do? I have a box in my craft room devoted entirely to pretty paper and envelopes. The only thing missing in my stash? Postcards, which are perfect for sending out a quick note to friends.


This is where online printing company UPrinting comes in. I’ve been asked to host a giveaway for 100 postcards! This will be a quick giveaway; you have until midnight tomorrow night (June 30) to enter. I’ll be posting the winner first thing on Friday morning.

Here’s the details:

One (1) winner will receive 100 5”x7” postcards on 14pt cardstock gloss. There will be front and back printing, but no folding. There is a 2 business day print turnaround time.
This giveaway is open to US Residents 18 and above only. If you have won this same giveaway from UPrinting within the past 6 months, then you are not eligible this time around.

To enter:

-Browse the postcard designs and pick your favorite. Leave that in a comment for one (1) entry.
-Tweet about the giveaway and leave the link in a separate comment for another entry.
-Mention this giveaway on your blog and leave a link to the entry in a separate comment for another entry.

Be sure to leave your email address in your comments so that I can pass it along to the person who will be contacting you within 30 days for prize claim.
Good luck!

Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by UPrinting, an online printing company, no monetary compensation was given and I will receive postcards for hosting. See more information about postcards and available postcard designs on

Weekend Recap

Let’s talk about this past weekend, shall we? Friday was sort of a hodgepodge day for me. I worked until Noon, then headed to the Freedriving Tour. After that, Stephen and I had an impromptu date night and saw Super 8. I heard it best described as a cross between The Wonder Years and Alien; totally accurate and totally a great movie.

Saturday was my laze around at home day, but by the afternoon, I was itching to do something creative. I channelled that creative energy into making a card and doing what I do best…baking! After a quick trip to the store, I set about making waffle iron cookies and cheesecake stuffed strawberries. Yeah, you read that right; I BAKED COOKIES IN A WAFFLE IRON. Sorry for the caps lock freak out, this was just a rather exciting moment for me. Unfortunately, the cookies didn’t turn out to be anything amazing. I think I over baked them (90 seconds was too long!), but it was a fun little experiment.


The cheesecake stuffed strawberries were a major success though. I brought them to a friend’s BBQ/fire in the backyard that night and went home with an empty plate. Everyone was amazed that I actually took the time to hollow out all of those strawberries. (Recipe to come tomorrow.) The BBQ was a great way to spend Saturday night. Stephen and I met some new people and got to catch up with one of our favorite couple friends.


Sunday, I had a baby shower to attend. One of my sister’s friends recently gave birth to a precious baby girl named Emily. Side story: For whatever reason, my sisters and I have all become friends with each other best friends. Not sure why, but it’s really nice.


So, how was your weekend? See any good movies lately?

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Ten on Tuesday


#86 at Roots and Rings

1. What’s the recipe for your favorite drink? (Smoothie, alcoholic, coffee, whatever.)
Coffee is one of my favorite drinks, but that doesn’t require a recipe. I adore smoothies, and my go to recipe is 1/2 cup milk, 1 cup yogurt and enough frozen fruit to fill the blender. Delish!

2. What kind of razor do you use?
I normally use Venus Embrace, but I just picked up a different brand because it was cheaper. Still prefer the Venus Embrace.

3. Who is your favorite Sesame Street character?

4. What makes the perfect salad? (Lettuce type, toppings, dressing, etc.)
I love a salad that’s loaded with toppings and it can’t have any ice burg lettuce! My favorite salad that I make at home is BBQ chicken salad.

5. What was your favorite subject in school?
It was a tie between French and band (I played the flute).

6. What’s your favorite summer tradition?
Making my summer list.

7. Do you suffer from season allergies? How do you combat them?
I’m really lucky that I don’t suffer from seasonal allergies!

8. How often do you have to charge your cell phone?
At least once a day, before bed. When I’m at work, it’ll often get charged there because I’m playing with it so dang much. My nanny boys also like to play with it.

9. Do you have a bucket list?
I don’t have an official bucket list, but if I did, I could already fill it with a few things that I would like to do.

10. Do you have any desire to go back to school?
Yes! I’ll be starting an online course through Mount Royal in the fall.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Freedriving Tour

Last week, I got an email inviting me to the Volkswagen Freedriving Tour. (It was from the same lady I worked with for the Women of Wonder project!) The gist of it is that I was welcome to come test drive some vehicles on a driving track with driving coaches. Only problem with that is I don’t have my license! (Yeah, I know. I’m ridiculous.) Luckily, I was able to sign up my Dad, as I knew that he would have a blast.

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We showed up on Friday afternoon and got to take a look at a few of the vehicles before getting the test driving. I was able to be a passenger, but Stephen had to sit out the whole experience because he’s under 25. My Dad started off with the Jetta. He took it a bit slow at first while getting to know the track. It was fun, but nothing remarkable. Next up was the Golf GTI. It was cramped in the back seat! My Dad is just too big of a guy for that car. His driving instructor this time around was a lot more talkative and tried to get my Dad to push it to the limit…which he did, and knocked over a ton of pylons. Guess he had a bit too much fun with that one.

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After that was the Golf Wagon TDI. This one was one of my favorites because not only was it roomier in the back seat, but my Dad finally got the hang of the course. He zoomed through it twice and didn’t hit a single pylon. It was fun speeding around those corners! Last was the Tiguan, which I think was my Dad’s personal favorite. It’s an SUV that handles more like a car. I could definitely see my Dad driving that.

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It was interesting getting a backseat view to all of this and hearing the tips that the driving instructors had for my Dad. A couple of the driving instructors were rather quiet which didn’t make the drive around the course that exciting, bit overall, it was worth the trip.

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Friday, June 24, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 44)

1. It’s been one heck of a week. (Wait, don’t I always start my Friday posts this way?) I got a call last minute on Wednesday afternoon seeing if I was free to babysit that night for a couple of hours. Straight from one job to another. I was supposed to have today off, but ended up filling my morning with some work; I’m supposed to have Tuesday off, but offered it to my Monday/Wednesday family. Who am I? Why am I making myself work so much?

2. The weather has been wacky all week. Raining on and off, but sunny and hot yesterday and Wednesday. Woke up to a massive headache yesterday that I’m blaming the weather for.

3. The good thing about the sunny weather is that I get to take my boys outside for adventures. I brought T to this hill that has a fantastic view of downtown and he was completely smitten with all of the buildings.


4. Baby E started solids last week, but I just started feeding them to him this week. The faces he makes when I’m feeding him carrots is priceless.

5. I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this here before, but when I’m baking, I write out blog posts in my head. I have such a ridiculous narrative going through my head during the baking process but when I sit down to write the post, it’s just not there anymore. Maybe that means I need my own show so that I can get those thoughts out there right away!

6. Stephen and I finally caught up on Dexter and on United States of Tara. Holy heck do I ever love those shows! We’re now looking for new shows to fill our time. I’ve been hearing such good things about Friday Night Lights so I borrowed the first two seasons from my parents. Any other recommendations?

7. I’ve got a baby shower and a pancake party to attend this weekend. Should be fun! What are your plans for the weekend?

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Tres Leches Cake

Tres Leches cake has always been intriguing to me, but never enough to actually bump it up on my to-bake list. The thought of a cake soaked in three different types of milk is oddly appealing. My original plan was to make it for Cinco de Mayo, but that fell through when I got busy. Not a big deal, since I’ve never been one to celebrate Cinco de Mayo.

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A couple of weeks ago, Stephen and I had Hawaiian meatballs in our meal plan for the week, and since my whole family is obsessed with that meal, we decided to invite my Mom over for dinner. (My Dad and sister were in Vancouver.) It was a last minute decision, and she’d be coming over shortly after I got home from work, so I needed something that would be relatively quick and easy, minimizing my time in the kitchen. This turned out to be the perfect dessert for that because it doesn’t take long to whisk together the ingredients and excusing myself to go to the kitchen to finish up wasn’t time consuming. Now, for how the cake turned out; I was underwhelmed by my first two bites, but after that, I was obsessed with the cake. Same went for my Mom. As for Stephen, well, let’s just say that he neglected to inform me that he’s not a fan of “wet cakes”. Boo on him! This cake would be amazing piled high with fresh fruit, and most definitely tastes delicious the next morning with a cup of coffee.

Tres Leches Cake
From Pioneer Woman

1 cup flour
1.5 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a 9x13 inch pan.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl.
3. Separate eggs. Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar until pale yellow. Mix in vanilla and milk. Combine with flour mixture.
4. Using a stand mixer or handheld mixer, beat eggs whites until soft peaks form. Add in remaining sugar and beat until egg whites are stiff.
5. Very gently fold the egg whites into the rest of the batter. Pour into pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Turn out cake onto a cooling rack.
6. Combine condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream. Pierce the surface of the cake several times with the tines of a fork. Slowly drizzle the milk mixture all over the top. (The cake won’t absorb all of the liquid.) Let sit for half an hour.


1 pint heavy whipping cream
3 tbsp sugar

Combine cream and sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. Spread over the cake.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

A Day in the Life…

I’ve seen this idea in a few different places, but most recently on Brandy-Son Zen Master Flash. The idea is to take a picture every hour and then post it. Easy enough! I chose to do last Tuesday at work, since I figured it would give me the most variety. I just used Instagram on my iPhone because it was the most accessible camera throughout the day. Enjoy!


6am: Setting the slow cooker before leaving for work.


7am: Commuting to work.


8am: At work, making a short grocery shopping list. Jello was T’s suggestion.


9am: At the grocery store. T spent a good ten minutes staring at the candy aisle.


10am: Quick stop at the pet store to visit the animals.


11am: Back at work, making Jello.


Noon: Lego playing time.


1pm: Reading library books about worms.


2pm: Free play time at Gymboree.


3pm: Picked up the older boys from school.


4pm: Quick Words With friends break.


5pm: Dinner time: crock pot chicken taco chilli.


6pm: Getting ready to cut our herbs so that we can dry them.


7pm: Coffee date with a good friend. (Neither of us had coffee though, haha!)


8pm: Trip to the scrapbook store means new paper!


9pm: Feeding the guinea pigs.

I was in bed shortly after 10pm that night. It was one of my busier days, and I was exhausted!
Have you ever attempted to take a picture an hour?

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

#85 at Roots and Rings

1. What’s the perfect meal?
Depends on my mood, but it definitely has to be cooked by someone else and definitely has to involve dessert. Homemade perogies or pasta of some sort always wins me over. Dessert should include cupcakes, ice cream or cheesecake.

2. What are the perfect pair of shoes?
I seem to have a thing for cute pairs of red flats. I already own to pairs.

3. What is the perfect afternoon?
Nearly anything that involves spending time with a loved one. Preferably a sunny afternoon spent outdoors, either near water or browsing a bookstore with a friend.

4. What’s the perfect house?
Spacious, but not too large. It needs to have a kitchen that Stephen and I have designed ourselves. Large master bedroom, several bathrooms, a finished basement and a backyard large enough to hold a veggie garden.

5. What is the perfect outfit?
Something I can be truly comfortable in. A good pair of jeans and a t-shirt.

6. What’s the perfect wedding song?
I’m not actually sure what the perfect wedding song is. I’m not married so I haven’t had to pick one out yet.

7. What is the perfect job?
My job is pretty close to perfect. I love the flexibility and all of the fun that I get to have.

8. What’s the perfect hairstyle?
Low maintenance would be best, but I love long and wavy.

9. What’s the perfect music festival?
Outdoors with good weather (not too hot) and not too many crazy people.

10. What’s the perfect day to yourself?
That would involve sleeping in, lots of coffee, blogs, cheesy TV shows and good food.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Weekend

This past weekend went by incredibly quickly for me, and I don’t feel like it was particularly restful. Friday evening, my sister dropped off her three dogs for us to dog sit. These guys were quite the handful; they’re just too big for my little townhouse. They were pretty hard to walk when I was alone. I had two big Boxers pulling on one side and a little Maltese'/Chihuahua trying to pull back home on the other side. They got me up bright and early on my days off to go for a walk (I don’t have a yard), so I didn’t get to sleep in much this weekend. Despite all of that, they’re great for cuddling and I kind of miss them already.

Lily Bean

3 Dogs

Saturday, my family had a memorial to attend in Taber, AB. We drove 3 hours each way for a quick 20 minute memorial, plus a dinner. It was still good to be with family, so I can’t complain there.

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Sunday was spent getting my house back in order. The dogs made quite the mess, so Stephen and I attempted to clean around them. After the dogs went home, we had two friends and their daughter over for dinner. I hadn’t seen this friend in quite some time, so it was really great to reconnect with her.

Despite the fact that my weekend was so busy, it was a really good one. What did you get up to over the weekend?

Friday, June 17, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 43)

1. After having a quiet few weeks (outside of work), I decided to share some recipes this week. I’m not sure if I’ll be doing that again since I only received 2 or 3 comments this week.

2. In fact, my comments have been steadily declining. Apparently I need to shake things up around here. Anything in particular you’d like to see on this blog?

3. I had a coffee date with a good friend this week, and Stephen and my friend’s husband stayed home together and played some video games. It had been a while since I’d seen the friend and I’m so glad that we got to do this. They’re going through some pretty exciting changes, and it felt really good to talk about them and find out where they’re at at this point in life. Since they’re not my changes to write about, I’ll leave it at that. Just know that it was one of the best coffee dates I’ve had in a while.

4. T and I have started up Gymboree (last week). While it was a bit of a struggle convincing him to go in the first place (he’s shy), he seems to love it now. We take a family art class together on Thursdays and have open gym time on Tuesdays. I just love having excuses to get out of the house!

5. It’ll be a busy weekend around here. We’re going to be dog sitting my sister’s three dogs. I believe that it’ll only be for one night, but two of them are big boxers, so it’ll be a bit chaotic. I love those dogs though, so I don’t mind.

6. Tomorrow involves the family driving three hours south to attend a memorial. Sunday will be a catch up around the house sort of day, and then some friends and their daughter will be coming over for dinner.

7. I can’t believe that summer vacation is just around the corner. Not that I’ll have any time off work, but the boys I nanny will. I’m going to have to start getting creative with the things we do! Confession: I have a folder in my bookmarks called ‘Nanny Fun’ that I’ve been filling with links to crafts and recipes and such. I’m going to make July a fun month for them.

What are your plans for the weekend? Tell me all about them!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Oatmeal Cream Pies

Do you remember the oatmeal cream pies of your childhood? I’m talking about the Little Debbie version that came in a box from the grocery store. Maybe your Mom bought them for you; I have memories of my Mom buying a few different versions of Little Debbie treats. Who knows what they put in those things, but they’re addictive. You can’t ever just eat one and be satisfied.

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When I’m in the mood to bake, I’ll ask Stephen for advice on what he thinks I should make. It goes the same way every single time, when I ask him, he has no idea. Guess he can’t come up with anything on the spot. He likes to offer his advice when I’m not looking for it. That was the case this past weekend; I must have been blog hopping or something when he came up with the idea that I have to make oatmeal cream pies for him. I said I’d get around to it eventually. The next day, I went ahead and baked them for him. When he came home from work, I told him to guess what I had baked and he had no idea! He had forgotten between Saturday night and Sunday afternoon. Oh well, I just happened to seem extra awesome. The oatmeal cream pies only lasted a few days in our house; which is always a sign of how good they are. Our friends stopped by on Tuesday night to sample them and immediately loved them. These are a more grown up version of the Little Debbie treat, and I happen to find them a bit less sweet. Stephen’s advice to me was to make them a wee bit smaller next time. Regardless, you must try them out.

Oatmeal Cream Pies
Adapted from Back to the Cutting Board

1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp cinnamon
1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sugar
1 tbsp molasses
1 tsp vanilla
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups quick oats

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together flour, salt, baking soda and cinnamon
3. in a separate bowl, cream butter and sugars. Beat in eggs, then beat in molasses and vanilla.
4. Fold in flour mixture. Once incorporated, fold in quick oats.
5. Drop by tablespoonful onto cookie sheets and bake for 10 minutes.

While cookies are cooling, prepare filling:

2 tsp hot water
1/4 tsp salt
1 7oz jar of marshmallow fluff
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the salt in the hot water.
2. In a separate bowl, beat together the marshmallow fluff, shortening, icing sugar and vanilla until fluffy. Mix in salt water.
3. Spread a little bit of the filling onto the flat side of a cookie and then top with an additional cookie.


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Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chilli

It seems like all of the recipes that I’ve bookmarked lately have been found via Pinterest. It’s just such a great site, especially for someone as visual as I am.

My original plan for this was to have it on Monday for dinner. I had thrown the ingredients together on Sunday night, so that all I’d have to do was add the meat Monday morning and turn the slow cooker on. I completely forgot to do that, which left us without dinner on Monday night. Oops. I made sure not to make the same mistake on Tuesday. Stephen thought this chilli was just alright, while I loved it. He thinks it’s too similar to another chilli that I make, and he doesn’t find it quite thick enough. I however, don’t think it’s as similar as the other chilli that I make, and while I prefer a thick chilli, I still find this one to be delicious. I think if I were to make it again, I’d buy some tortilla chips to eat with it.
(I’ll be updating this post later on today with a picture of the chilli.)

Slow Cooker Chicken Taco Chilli
Adapted from Photo a Day

1 onion, diced
2 16-oz cans black beans
1 8-oz can tomato sauce
1 small can kernel corn
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1 package taco seasoning
1 tbsp cumin
1 tbsp chilli powder
3 boneless skinless chicken breasts
Sour cream and cheese to garnish

1. In slow cooker, combine onion, beans, tomato sauce, corn, diced tomatoes, taco seasoning and spices.
2. Place chicken on top, and cover. Cook on low for 10 hours or on high for 6 hours. Half hour before serving, shred chicken and then return to slow cooker. Stir to combine.
3. When serving, garnish with sour cream and shredded cheese if desired.


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Ten on Tuesday


#84 at Roots and Rings

1. How do you pronounce the word aunt? Does your pronunciation rhyme with ‘haunt’ or ‘can’t'?
I pronounce it so that it rhymes with ‘can’t’.

2. Do most of the people in your life know you blog? Or are you partially or totally anonymous?
As far as I know, the majority of my friends and family know. It’s not something I really keep a secret, but it’s also not something I offer up in casual conversation either.

3. When you grocery shop, do you prefer to bag your own groceries or do you like it when the store bags them for you? Paper, plastic, or reusable bags?
It depends on the kind of mood I am in. Some days, I feel like I can bag my groceries better, but other days I’m thankful someone else will do it for me. I think the only time I’d really rather do it myself is when I have a lot of groceries that I need to walk home with. I can distribute the weight more evenly then.
I try really hard to bring reusable bags, but I don't always leave for the grocery store from home, so I occasionally have to deal with plastic bags.

4. Do you have a green thumb?
I’m in the process of trying to figure that out. I haven’t grown too much, so I’m not too sure yet. I think I have a lot to learn.

5. If you watch the Food Network, which chef/show host is your favorite?
I’m actually watching Chef at Home right now! I used to watch the Food Network all the time, but since we got the PVR, I record most of the shows I actually want to watch, so not a lot of Food Network shows make the cut. I like watching things like Ace of Cakes and competition type shows.

6. Do you like to take baths? Do you take them very often?
I don’t like taking baths. I’ve never lived in a place with a deep bathtub, so I have no desire to take baths. The last time I took a bath was probably nearly 2 years ago, if not longer.

7. What color are the walls in your kitchen?
They’re white.

8. Do you prefer to dine outdoors or indoors?
If it’s nice outside, I love dining outdoors. Under an umbrella on a sunny day, with an ice cold drink is the way to go!

9. Describe your ideal weather.
Moderate weather. The kind where you can wear pants and a sweater if you want. Definitely needs to be sunny.

10. If you could learn any foreign language, which would you choose to learn?
I took French class from grade 5 to grade 11. I’d love to become more fluent/use it in real life settings. If I had to learn an entirely new language though, I think I’d go with Italian.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Oven Baked Hotdogs

Since my weekend was rather uneventful (which makes for rather boring blog posts), I thought that I would share some recipes today and on Wednesday.

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I don’t normally share dinner type recipes because I’m not much of a cook. Since I can’t get away with not ever cooking, there are times that I’m in charge of dinner. I came across this recipe on Pinterest. I’m not a big fan of hotdogs (unless they’re barbecued), but for some reason, these looked really good. I’ve never baked hotdogs before, and I’ve definitely never put pre made hotdog buns in the oven for this long. I’m not typically a fan of mayonnaise on my hotdogs or hamburgers, but in this case, it tastes really good. My only tip, courtesy of Stephen, is to not use giant hotdogs or buns. Makes it easier to eat. I adapted the recipe to only make four, but I’m writing out the recipe for the original 8.

Oven Baked Hotdogs
From Sunshine and Bones

8 hotdogs
8 hotdog buns
1 can chili
1/2 a diced onion
grated cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Spread the inside of the hotdog buns evenly with mayonnaise and relish. Stick in hotdogs, and fill a 9x13” pan.
3. Top hotdogs with mustard, chili, onion and cheese. Cover with tin foil, and bake for 45 minutes.

Who knew a hotdog could be so good?

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I’m working on making a cookbook (for personal use) filled with tried and true dinner type recipes. Every time we try a new recipe, we judge it based on whether or not it should be put in the cookbook. This was a keeper.

Friday, June 10, 2011

7 Quick Takes (Vol 42)

1. I’m so glad that it’s Friday. I’m sitting here, barely able to keep my eyes open. It’s been yet another long week, and I’m excited to sleep in tomorrow.

2. Speaking of sleep, I downloaded the Sleep Cycle Alarm app. I realize that it’s not entirely accurate, but it’s kind of neat to see what my sleeping pattern for the night before is. According to the app, I go between asleep and awake several times a night. Kind of neat.

3. Stephen got accepted to school this week! He had been previously waitlisted, but received a letter this week saying that he can attend. How exciting for him!

4. Stephen and I finished watching season 4 of Dexter last night. It was so good! We’re glad to be finally able to start on the last season, but I’ll be really sad when we have to wait for the next season to come out on DVD.

5. The basil we were growing on our balcony has pretty much died. We’ve never grown herbs before, so this was kind of like an experiment. I figure it’s probably because we planted it next to Dill (also known as Dill Weed), which is flourishing and probably killed it off. I’m hoping to go buy some more basil this weekend and to plant it in a separate pot.

6. Our tomato plant seems to be doing well, we’ve got a bunch of itsy-bitsy tomatoes popping up all over! As for our strawberry plant, I’m worried that I may have killed that one as well. It’s rained nearly every day this week, so I didn’t think twice about needing to water it. I went out last night to find out that it doesn’t get any of the rain, and was bone dry! I feel so awful. Hopefully I can bring it back to being healthy again. It has produced a couple of strawberries though.

7. Did you read my post on Wednesday? Well, through Twitter, I won a $100 gift card! I’ve already spent a good chunk of it on something for Stephen, and two cookbooks for me: Martha Stewart’s Cookies and David Lebovitz’s A Perfect Scoop. I think I’ll spend some time in the kitchen this weekend!
What are you doing this weekend?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

This is one of those recipes in my collection that I have no idea where it came from. I copied it down one day on a scrap of paper, then it eventually made its way onto a recipe card that resides in my recipe box. All you need to know about these cookies is that they’re good. They’re also giant; nearly the size of my hand. I love that this recipe is enough for at least three dozen cookies, perfect for freezing to enjoy later. Only problem is that they don’t last long in my house. Stephen and I are always sneaking into the kitchen to grab just one more cookie. They’ve got the perfect ratio of crispy to soft going on.

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You know what makes them even better? Turning them into ice cream sandwiches. 2 scoops of homemade vanilla ice cream sandwiched between two of these cookies is divine. It does make for one monstrous ice cream sandwich, so we often only ate half at a time. Totally worth it.

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies

4 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups melted butter
2 cups brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 tbsp vanilla
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
3 1/2 cups chocolate chips

1.Preheat oven to 325F. Line cookie sheets.
2. Cream butter and sugars. Beat in vanilla, eggs and egg yolks until creamy.
3. Mix in flour, baking soda and salt, until just blended. Fold in chocolate chips.
4. Drop by the 1/4 cupful onto cookie sheets. Bake 15-18 minutes, or until golden brown.


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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Today I’m…

Gathering inspiration from a few different bloggers, I decided to let you know what I’m up to today.

Today I’m blogging from work. Baby E takes several naps throughout the day which leaves me with a bit of free time. He’s currently taking his first 20 minute nap of the morning, so I decided to get some writing done.


Today I’m living out of that backpack. I won’t be getting home until very late tonight (around 11pm-ish), so not only was my laptop in the backpack, but I also stuck breakfast, lunch and dinner in there.

Today I’m working all day. Work from 8am-4pm with my regular nanny family, then babysitting from 6:30pm-10pm with another family. I won’t be going home in between.

Today I’m heading downtown to pick up a $100 gift card that I won through twitter! COREshopping gave away 20 $100 gift cards when they hit 2000 followers and I was one of the lucky winners! Now Stephen can’t give me heck for spending too much time on twitter because it has finally paid off.

Today I’m watching a new series on TV: Missing. I discovered it on Monday morning during Baby E’s nap, and now I’ve decided to watch it whenever I’m here. It’s nothing particularly amazing, but there’s not a whole lot of good shows on during the day. It works for me.
(This is an old Canadian show that ran from 2003-2006.)

What are you doing today?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. What type of phone do you have? Do you like it?
I have an iPhone 3GS, and I love it. I'd still love to upgrade to the iPhone 4 though.

2. How old were you when you got your first cell phone?

I was out of high school for sure. I believe I was 18.

3. How many cell phones have you owned since your first?
I think I'm either on my fourth or fifth phone.

4. How much is your average monthly phone bill?
Oh geez, I don't know. Stephen's in charge of paying our phone bills, but I believe it's about $65? Sounds about right. I only hear about the phone bill if I've gone over my limit, haha!

5. When you were a kid/teenager, were you allowed to have a phone in your room?
Nope. I didn't have one in my room even when I was an adult living at home.

6. Do you like talking on the phone or do you despise it? Or somewhere in-between?
It's ok, I suppose. I have this weird anxiety about calling people, so I'd really just prefer it if people called me.

7. Do you text a lot? Is texting/talking while driving illegal where you live? Are you guilty of it anyway?

I text a moderate amount, mostly because I don't have a lot of friends that I text with anymore.
I'm not sure if texting/talking while driving in Calgary is illegal or not, but it definitely should be. I don't drive, so I don't text and drive.

8. What sort of texting keyboard does your phone have? Touch screen, slide out, or something different? Do you care?

Touch screen. I hated it at first, but I've gotten used to it. If it weren't for autocorrect, I'd never get anything spelled out.

9. Look at the last call in your call log – who is it? What were they calling about? Who calls you the most?
My last call was from Stephen's brother's girlfriend. She called to tell me that when she comes to visit next month, we have to make a trip to the zoo. Stephen calls me the most.

10. What is the longest phone call you can recall having?

I've had a few calls that were around the two hour mark. Who knew I had so much to say?

Nanny Adventures

I mentioned briefly last week that I had been taking the boys I nanny on lots of adventures (and that it had been tiring me out). One of the things that I love about my job is all of the time that I get to spend outside of my nanny family’s house. My goal is always to get the kids out of the house and moving around. Sometimes, the way to do this is by going on big long adventures.

Last week, I took T on an adventure up a path toward the top of a big hill. This was exciting for him because of the view we got of downtown. This boy is obsessed with buildings! His family happened to be dog sitting, so made sure to bring along CJ to tire her out as well.

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I also handed my camera over to T and let him capture some memories. I like seeing our walks from his perspective.

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I was looking after two boys last week that weren’t my regulars. They posed an interesting challenge because one of them was younger (2), and they were both full of way more energy than I was used to. Luckily, they lived right next to some bluffs that were perfect for adventures. This adventure was much more exhausting because not only were the bluffs higher, but I was chasing after a 2 year old and a 4 year old, all while pushing a stroller. Once we got to the top though, the view was worth it.

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See all of that green grass there? It was perfect for the boys to just run around and be free. There were even some benches for me to sit and catch my breath! T would go absolutely nuts for amazing views of downtown like that, so I have plans to bring him there in the near future.

I love that not only am I getting outside and getting a bit of exercise with my nanny kids, but I’m also seeing different areas of my city that I may have originally overlooked. Have you gotten out for a walk lately? What did you see?

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