I love cake. And since I am quite lactose intolerant, if I don’t make it, I rarely get to eat it. That’s why I’m so excited about this Lactose-Free Cinnamon Coffee Cake with extra crumble. Of course, now that Natrel makes lactose-free butter here in Canada, it’s like it’s a whole new world.
I have had some great success with vegan butter, but it’s not the real deal. While this cake does not have sour cream or butter milk, it’s still a lovely cake. I would definitely consider it lean closer to a pound cake consistency rather than fluffy birthday cake consistency, but it is perfect with a hot tea (or coffee) on a lazy afternoon.
There are two parts to registering a child who is starting school with disability. There’s the functional part – who do you see, what do you need bring? And then there is emotional part. This is not about the functional part.
Enrolling our daughter in school was the hardest thing I’ve dealt with on our parenting journey. So hard that it’s taken me a year to talk about it. But today, when I saw that another mom I know is in the same place I was last year, I felt it was time to open up.
I’m going to skip all the drama that happened between when I started the process (and the tears) of enrolling Alma in school and the first day we put her on the yellow bus to let you know that she has an amazing placement. Some even call it a unicorn placement as it feels like the kind of placement you only hear about. It is perfect. But it is not the placement I was crossing my fingers for at this time last year.
And I now know that’s ok.
I learned a lot along this journey. Hopefully some of it will help you, as you work your way towards the right placement for your child.
This DIY Easter Surprise Eggs recipe is a new Easter favourite. In fact, I might be make them 123,045 times before this easter.
My little one LOVES surprise eggs. Like is seriously-obsessed-to-the-point-that-it-drives-me-crazy obsessed. But I can’t bear to have any more little plastic toys filling up our home, and she really shouldn’t be chowing down on full size big-kid eggs.
So I decided to try and make some at home.
Today is the day! It’s Launch Day for the Nintendo Switch. My son and I had the chance to test out the Switch here in Toronto. And I have to say, we were both smitten. I am not a gamer by any stretch as was evident earlier today when I stood in line to nab a console for our family. It was def a case of one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other. But I’m quite certain this is the next great family console. And here’s why.
A day where we celebrate love? I do have a soft spot for Vanlentine’s Day. Growing up my dad ALWAYS bought my sister and I at least one red rose and a box of Turtles. It wasn’t big or fancy or anything, but that Valentine’s Day tradition still warms by heart around this time of year.
We don’t really give big gifts here for Valentine’s Day. We’re not anti-v-day or anything. But our anniversary is just around the corner, and my b-day just passed. But I still love to check out what I might like, you, know, if we WERE going to get gifts. This year I got my husband a coffee mug and a few other little sweeties. He’ll probably bring me some flowers. But if I was going to make a wish list, here are five things that caught my eye this year.
Ok, here’s the list.
So that’s my 5 Faves list for Valentine’s Day 2017. What’s on your list this year? Have you picked out a gift for yourself? I’d love to hear about it.
This post is solely my opinion and the topic, items and links have, in no way, been sponsored, endorsed or affiliated.
I think this is the most challenging aspect of my life, and I know I’m not alone. For me, it’s the push and pull of work and kids and keeping the household up and running. And then there is volunteering, the added complications of Alma’s syndrome. My own health, personal growth, our marriage and fun are buried under all the must-do’s. Sadly, I’ve learned you can’t sacrifice yourself for long, without consequence.
I’m definitely working on it. Part of finding balance is trying to get out and do things just for me. It’s true that I don’t always succeed, but I try to do one thing each week. Lucky for me, I had the good fortune of receiving an invitation to an event called TEA talks put on by Tetley.
I’m 100% a tea person. In fact, one of my finding balance simple pleasures is drinking a cup of tea (while it is still hot). The sad part of this statement is that I probably only accomplish this goal about 1 in every 5 days. Another thing on my list of tools to help find balance is going to yoga. I say this like it’s a common thing. I aspire to go to yoga, but I have managed one class in 3 weeks.
So with the promise of hot tea and aspirations of going to yoga swirling in my head, TEA talks seemed like the perfect way to spend a Saturday morning.
We enjoyed a series of talks from a number of presenters including Yogi Cameron, a supermodel turned yogi who felt called to lead a more spiritual life. We also heard from a holistic chef, a doctor of eastern medicine, a Toronto wellness practitioner and more. All of these enlightening speakers had one thing in common. They were all Ayurvedic experts.
If you’re new to the idea of Ayurveda, here’s what you need to know. Developed more than 5,000 years ago, Ayurveda is one of the world’s oldest holistic healing systems. With rich origins in the Vedic culture of India, the word Ayurveda in Sanskrit means “science of life”. This practice teaches that holistic well-being is achieved through the balance of the mind, body and spirit.
Ayurvedic practitioners believe everything in the universe — living or not — is connected. And that to achieve good health, your mind, body, and spirit need to be in harmony with the universe. The aim of Ayurveda is to understand mind, body and spirit in relation to the universe with the aim of fulfilling human potential.
As someone searching for well-being, looking to achieve harmony in my life and live up to my potential, this was one of the most fulfilling mornings I have spent in ages. It was very interesting to me to hear from someone who felt they had a calling to do something different. That’s a phrase I have seldom heard outside of those who have joined the clergy, but in the past few years have wondered if I am being called to a different path (more on that in the future). I loved exploring the notion of Doshas, and learning how to understand my dosha Pitta. You can find your own Dosha here.
I left with a renewed sense of why I am committed to finding balance, and some new tools to help me along that path – including the new line of Tetley Balance teas. The teas were created using the ancient wisdom of Ayruveda. All three are quite delicious. The Pitta tea with Peppermint, Hibiscus, Spearmint, Lemon Balm, Coriander, Lavender is my favourite. A close second is the Kapha tea with Ginger Root, Tulsi, Peppermint, Spearmint, Cloves, Turmeric, and Cumin.
I’m not sure I’ll ever truly achieve balance with so many things on my plate, but I believe attempting to have greater balance in my life every day is a worthwhile pursuit. With that in mind I’m off to yoga tomorrow AM. Today, I’m spending a little time writing and organizing. Then I look forward to a HOT cup of tea in the later afternoon.
My friends at Tetley wanted me to be able to bring one of my readers on the same journey, so they have generously offered some tea and other goodies to one lucky winner. Maybe we can have a cup and chat about finding balance together.
The giveaway is open to Canadian residents (outside of QC) over 18 years of age. The contest closes on Sunday February 12, 2017. Please read the contest entry details below, and read the full giveaway terms and conditions here. One winner will be drawn at random from eligible entries. Winner’s name and address will be provided to a third party to facilitate mailing of the prize.
Disclaimer: This giveaway is sponsored by Tetley Canada. But but all opinions in this piece are all my own and are in no way influenced by sponsorship.
Which means it’s the best time of the year. This Lemon Chicken soup with orzo comes together fast with rotisserie chicken and broth you have on hand (either homemade or store bought). Not only is it easy, it’s really, really delicious. Like I’ve never seen anyone eat as much soup good. Like, there wasn’t any leftover for lunch good.
I’m a big soup person if you can’t tell… In fact, it’s probably my favourite food. I like soup for lunch, for dinner and for a late night snack. Whenever I get a new job, I try to find all the close places nearby that serve great soup. My current position in a little light in soup spots, so I find I’m making more than usual, so I can bring for lunch.
The broth is flavourful, thanks to the tart lemon zest and juice. And the spinach adds a much needed boost of green veg in the dead of winter. Plus, there’s something about orzo that makes it extra special. It’s technically pasta, but has that rice-like quality that gives you the best of both worlds.
Of course, you can always make it the long way on a weekend – start with chicken, boil the broth – but broth from the freezer or the grocer works just fine for a Monday-Friday, fresh pot of soup on the stove in 30 minutes type meal.
I have served this with crackers, with baguette, and with naan bread. It’s hearty enough for a meal, but somehow also light enough to partner with a grilled cheese sandwich or a salad.
8 cups chicken broth
1 1/2 cups shredded chicken
1 stalk of celery, thinly sliced
1 small onion, diced
2 carrots, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic – pressed
1 tsp dried Italian herb blend
zest and juice of one lemon
1 cup orzo dry pasta
2 cups spinach (I use baby spinach) cut into thin ribbons
1/2 tsp tumeric
Bring the chicken broth to a boil.
Reduce to simmer and add chicken, onions, celery, carrots, garlic, Italian herb, tumeric, the lemon zest.
Simmer for 5 min then add the orzo.
Simmer for 10 min, until the orzo is cooked.
Turn off the heat and add the spinach. Stir in the lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Leftovers can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 days.
January is when so many of us look towards establishing healthier routines. Along with my dish today I’m excited to be sharing delicious 30 minute meal recipes from fellow Canadian blogger friends under the hashtag #CANRecipe. Tried and tasted food straight from our kitchens.
Salmon and Papaya Lettuce Wraps @ Everyday Allergen Free
Easy Coconut Curry @ Maple and Marigold
Big Salad & Avocado Dressing @ Allergy Girl Eats
Pork Carnitas Black Bean Soup @ Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen
Lemon Chicken Soup Orzo @ Mommydo
Kid’s Vegetarian Chili @ Off The Porch
So Natrel just released Lactose-Free Butter. LACTOSE-FREE BUTTER!
I stuffed my daughter in the car (buckled her up tight) and proceeded to buy 5 packages.
I also brought the ingredients for these shortbread cookies and a baguette.
First I ate few hunks of baguette spread with glorious butter. Then I whipped up these whipped shortbread cookies.
They are one of the first Christmas Cookies I made on my own as a little girl. And they’re still my favourite today. The recipe hails from The Harrowsmith Cookbook, and credit is given to Shirley Hill of Picton Ontario.
They are very delicious, very easy and always a huge hit.
The key to these is to really beat them between ingredients. Don’t stop when the ingredients are mixed, give them a minute or more to beat at each step.
Today I finished the cookies with chunks of Purdy’s dark chocolate and makde a few with a little candied cherry on tip.
I know I mentioned beating after every ingredient…I’m repeating myself so you take me seriously. THIS IS THE SECRET TO THE BEST WHIPPED SHORTBREAD EVER.
1/2 lb. Butter
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup icing sugar
1 cup flour
First, beat butter until light.
Then add the remaining ingredients one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Next, roll into small balls and flatten with a fork (or just drop them – that’s what I do).
Bake at 300
F for 30 min. Keep an eye on the cookies because they look the best when they come out before they brown.
Makes about 3 dozen cookies.
I’m so excited to be sharing recipes from fellow Canadian bloggers under the hashtag #CANRecipe. Food that will give you a flavour of the season – Christmas Classics straight from our kitchens.
From the top left the dishes are:
Nanaimo Truffles @ Dish’n’ the Kitchen
Dipped Oreos @ The Inspired Home
Mulled Wine @ Maple and Marigold
Bacon Fried Rice @ Allergy Girl Eats
Coles Pudding @ Off The Porch
Chocolate covered Whiskey-Soaked Figs @ Everday Allergen Free
Shortbread Cookies @ Mommydo
Why is it called Weeknight Easy Turkey Chili?
I classify recipes three ways: Weekend. Weekend Easy and Weeknight Easy.
Weekend recipes tend to only be made on Saturdays and Sundays. Weekend easy recipes are involved for weeknights, but they still make their way in rotation.
But weeknight easy recipes are the ones we eat all the time. These recipes need to be quick. They must be made with ingredients usually have on hand. And they need to be good. Preferably really good.
This Weeknight Easy Turkey Chili is all three. It doesn’t matter if you swap an ingredient, add a little less or a little more of your favourite parts or even add extra liquid and pasta to make a Turkey Chili Soup. As we’re heading into winter, this is definitely a keeper for those busy, cold Wednesday nights when you’re sitting staring at each other saying “what do you want for dinner” and “I don’t know, what do YOU want for dinner”.
Prep time: about 15 min + min 20 minutes simmer time.
1 package ground turkey
1 med onion
1 red pepper
1 yellow pepper
2 cups chicken broth
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 can chick peas (drained and rinsed)
1 cup frozen corn
3 clove garlic
3 tbls chilli powder
1 tbls cumin
Fresh ground pepper
Dice the onion and throw it in the pan as you brown the turkey.
Once it’s browned and the onions are translucent, toss them in a large pot.
Dice the peppers and add them to the pot too.
Toss in the broth, diced tomatoes, and tomato paste.
Rinse and drain the chick peas and black beans and pop them in there too.
Toss in about a cup of frozen corn.
Put 3 cloves of garlic into a garlic press and into the pot it goes.
Add the spices + salt and pepper to taste.
Simmer for a min of 20 minutes.
Garnish with any combination of avocado, sour cream, cheese, crunchy tortillas or crusty bread.
I’m pretty sure you’ll enjoy this as much as we do (pretty much every week).
Today I’m glad to be sharing recipes from fellow Canadian bloggers under the hashtag #CANRecipe. November is the unofficial start of winter across the country and what better way to get ready for the season than with delicious food straight from our kitchens.
From the top the dishes are:
Easy Weeknight Turkey Chili @ Mommydo
Grape Jelly Meatballs @ The Inspired Home
Puffball Mushroom Soup @ OffThePorch.ca
Creamy Curry Meat Soup @ Allergy Girl Eats
Moong Dal (Indian Lentil Soup) @ Maple and Marigold
Chicken Pot Pie @ Red Cottage Chronicles
Pumpkin Molasses Muffins @ Everyday Allergen Free
Most people look forward to the big show at Thanksgiving. The main feast. But I think the sandwiches the day after are the best. This recipe is the Best Sandwich Bread Ever. It’s not the prettiest loaf, but it’s my favourite ever, just the same.
It is a bread machine recipe, which is what makes the loaves a little funny looking but I find, if you want to serve it with the big feast, putting the sliced bread on the table helps take eyes off the tall, slightly misshapen loaf.
The key to the recipe is very warm tap water – much warmer than you’d think. When the water is nice and toasty, the yeast bubbles up nicely and the bread you get is fluffier. Yum.
The only downside is that sometimes it gets a little ‘fluffier’ than you expect. That nice tall loaf just means a bigger sandwich, so don’t worry about it. Just ensure your machine is able to bake a little longer than the regular cycle.
Making this bread is REALLY easy. Six ingredients. All in the bread maker. Just follow the instructions and be sure to put the ingredients into the machine in the right order. This Black + Decker model is the machine I use. I am quite fond of it.
8tsp granulated sugar
1 1/2tsp instant or bread machine yeast
1 1/3 cups water
1/3 cup vegetable oil
4 cups flour
2 tsp salt
1. Add sugar, yeast and very warm water to the bread pan. Let stand for 10 minutes or until yeast starts to bubble.
2. Add oil. Spoon flour on top of liquid. Add salt.
3. Select the Basic/White cycle and Light Crust setting and press start.
4. I said it up there, but I’m going to say it again. As with all bread machine recipes, it’s important to add the ingredients in the right order. So it rises nicely like the loaf below.
Along with my dish today I’m glad to be sharing recipe ideas from fellow Canadian blogging friends under the hashtag #CANRecipe. Last month’s comfort food dishes announced the beginning of fall. This month join us as we celebrate Thanksgiving across Canada with delicious food straight from our kitchens.
From the top the dishes are:
Turkey Soup @ The Inspired Home
Apple Bread Pudding with Apple Brandy Caramel Sauce @ Dish ‘n’ the Kitchen
Cumin-scented Baked Acorn Squash @ Maple and Marigold
Seriously The Best Sandwich Bread Ever From @ Mommydo
Sweet Potato Mash With Caramelized Onions @ Allergy Girl Eats