I started this blog so my daughters could find all of our family favourite recipes in one place. It has actually grown into more than just the family favourites but also other recipes we've tried out in our kitchen. I don't like to fill up the post with alot of chatter. Sometimes there's a little story to tell, but usually I like to get right to the point. So this is for them, but hope you find some recipes that you like as well. I'll be sharing a lot of recipes, and along the way you'll find some crafty things and maybe some helpful hints too!

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Olive Oil and Fresh Tomato Spaghetti

Fresh and light weeknight supper. Easy for nights when you've been extra busy, like during our bathroom makeover.

1/2 cup olive oil
1  1/2 cups grape tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, slivered
2 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup sliced yellow pepper
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper to taste
450g spaghetti 
1 cup baby spinach leaves, whole

Start by pouring the olive oil into a medium fry pan. Add the tomatoes, garlic slivers, green onions and yellow pepper. Cook on medium heat 10-15 minutes or until tomatoes are a little wrinkly.

While this cooks boil the spaghetti in salted water until al dente, about 8-10 minutes.

In a small bowl mix the tomato paste, sugar, oregano and salt together, then stir into the olive oil and veggies.

Once spaghetti is cooked, drain and toss in the spinach leaves stirring together. Add the sauce and stir to coat.

Serve with fresh ground pepper and parmesan.

Serves 4

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Coastal Decor

I wanted to bring a bit of the seaside to our new bathroom.

A piece of florist foam
spanish moss (from craft store)
glue gun

I started by cutting the florist foam into a rough ball leaving a flat bottom.  Next I placed the spanish moss loosely around the ball to cover it. Once I was happy with the way it was positioned I lifted parts of it and squirted a bit of glue onto the ball, pressing the moss back gently into position.

Then using one of the the smaller pieces of driftwood I made a hole in the ball. I removed the small piece and took another abit larger, put a dab of glue on the end and pressed it into the hole. I continued adding driftwood until I liked the look.

I knew when I collected this driftwood on our Canadian maritime trip last fall I'd find a use for it!

Here's the link if you'd like to see our trip to Nova Scotia:


A little bit of Harbourville in our home.

And for the full Beach Bathroom Makeover:

DIY Kleenex Box Cover

De-cluttering our new bathroom meant getting things off the counter. Starting with the ugly kleenex box.

Had this wooden crate that was large enough to hold the largest kleenex box that we buy. I removed the hardware, hubby lightly sanded it and gave it a couple of coats of white paint.

He cut a slot in a long side (which will be the bottom of the dispenser) for the kleenex to come through.

Then he cut a piece of wood thin enough to slide through the slats like a door or panel. Also painted white.

I printed out B e a c h in keeping with our beach-themed new bathroom. I cut the letters out to make a stencil. Don't forget to keep the letter inserts (see B e and a)

I put the stencil on the wooden panel and taped it in place. Also placed a small piece of tape under the cutouts.

Using a sponge I dabbed light blue paint (the same as our wall colour) over the stencil then removed the stencil before the paint dried because I was afraid the paper would stick!

Here he is installing the box on the wall.

Sliding the whitewashed panel in to cover the kleenex box.

And here's the finished piece.  I think it turned out pretty cute!

For the full Beach Bathroom Makeover:

Beach Bathroom Makeover

First I have to say I really did like lime green. No one else in the house did though. This was our funky (my word) or ugly (their word) old bathroom.

Ok so the "fugly" bathroom had to go.
I guess I have to admit it was a bit hard on the eyes!

My guy didn't waste any time painting over this accent wall. He primed that sucker first!

We wanted to brighten up the cabinets too, but really weren't sure if we were going to like the idea of painting over the oak.

And we wanted to change things up so everything above this counter had to be removed. The upper cabinets, glass shelves (aka clutter catchers!), builder mirror and the little mirror we had added so the kids could see themselves when they brushed their teeth. At 26 and 20 they're big enough now and don't need it anymore!

That little mirror had been held on with double stick tape and was relatively easy to remove. Before starting my husband taped the surface of the mirror in case it broke thereby (hopefully) keeping the shards from landing all over the bathroom. Thankfully with just a little prying it came off in one piece.

Next he removed the cabinets. That made sliding out the large mirror pretty simple. (Big sigh of relief...no seven years of bad luck!)

He lightly sanded the cabinets, then I got to work. First coat was Benjamin Moore Stix bonding primer applied with a sponge roller.

Once all the surfaces were covered it had to dry/cure for 24 hours. Second coat same thing.

Then on went 2 coats of Benjamin Moore White Dove OC-131 which is exactly the colour of our bone-coloured sink, etc. We are glad we decided to paint the cabinets.

My husband installed crown moulding and painted the ceiling and the moulding with Benjamin Moore Chantilly Lace OC-65.

For the walls we chose CIL Big Chill 90BG 72/063

Remember how the upper cabinets were on each side of the old builder mirror. We hung them together making one compact storage area and the new mirror from Home Sense next to it.

Nice new hardware in brushed nickel ...

I lovelovelove our new shower curtain from - Antigua Avanti Linens from the Linen Chest! (Although I do NOT like the matching shower hooks! The shell design is pretty but the hooks come off the rod too easily. Will have to find a solution for that!)

Remember I wanted to eliminate clutter? DIY Kleenex Box Cover on the wall to dispense kleenex.

Here's how:


And if you're interested in this beachy piece find out how simple it was to make here:


It doesn't even seem like it could be the same room !!!

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Fudgy Valentine's Brownies

Valentine's brownie hearts yesterday, a sweet treat for my birthday today. Don't need another cake right! Did I just say that??

Use a 17 1/2 - 11" jelly roll pan.

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
1/2 cup butter or marg
1/2 cup shortening 
   (or 1 cup butter in place of butter/shortening)
1 cup strong brewed coffee or water
1/4 cup dark, unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup buttermilk (or milk with 2 tsps vinegar)
2 eggs
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1  1/4 cups icing sugar
2-3 tbsps milk
1 tbsps seedless strawberry jam
1/4 tsp vanilla
Pink food colouring optional

In a large bowl, combine the flour and sugar.

In a heavy saucepan, combine butter, shortening, coffee and cocoa. Stir and heat to boiling.

Pour boiling mixture over the flour and sugar in the bowl. Add buttermilk, eggs, baking soda and vanilla.

Mix well using a wooden spoon or mixer on high. Fold in chocolate chips.

Pour into a parchment lined baking sheet.

Bake at 495 F for 22 minutes.

Lift parchment out and cool completely before cutting.
This is a 3" heart. (I cut off the arrow ends though)

Save all the cutoffs in the freezer for a brownie trifle at a later date.

Whisk the glaze ingredients together.

Spread on top of each brownie heart. 

The recipe makes just enough glaze for 14 - 3" hearts.

Set in fridge.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Four Cheese Spaghetti Pie

So it's Saturday...you made it through another week! 

Here's a time saver. If you're making spaghetti during the week just cook up some extra, drain it and toss with a tsp of olive oil. Keep it in a container in the fridge until you're ready to make this meal. It comes together in no time!

1/2 box spaghetti (about 4 cups cooked)
2 tbsps butter
2 eggs
1/2 cup shredded cheddar

1  1/2 cups cottage cheese (or ricotta)
1/4 cup parmesan
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp pesto

1 lb ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 red pepper, chopped
28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 can tomato paste
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1  1/2 cups shredded mozzarella

Grease a 10" pie plate and set aside.

Mix cooked and cooled spaghetti, butter, eggs and cheddar together and press into the pie plate.

Mix cottage cheese, parmesan, garlic powder and pesto together and layer over the spaghetti "crust".

In a skillet brown beef, onion, garlic and red pepper until no pink remains and the veggies are limp. Add drained canned tomatoes (keep juice to add to homemade soups), tomato paste, sugar and seasonings.

Top the cottage cheese layer with the meat sauce.

Bake uncovered at 350F  for 20 minutes. Then add the mozzarella and return to the oven for about 10 minutes.  Broil top a few minutes if you like it browned.

Cool 5-10 minutes before cutting.

Serves 4-6

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Slow Cooker Boneless Chicken Cacciatore

The slow cooker is your friend.
Basically just put everything together and go about your day.

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 onions, sliced thinly
2 carrots, sliced thinly
5 cloves of garlic, minced
1  1/2 cups frozen julienne green beans
1 - 28 oz (798 ml) can diced tomatoes
1 - 156 ml can tomato paste
2 cups chicken broth
2 tsps lemon juice
1 tbsp paprika
2 tsps oregano
1 tsp basil
pinch red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

1 tbsp parsley

Slice onions and place in the bottom of the slow cooker. 

Mix paprika, oregano, basil, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper together. Take half of it to coat the chicken.

Mix carrots, garlic, green beans, tomatoes, tomato paste and chicken broth together along with the rest of the seasonings and pour over the onions.

 Nestle the chicken breasts into the sauce.

Cover and cook on low for 6 hours.

Serve with parsley over pasta or rice.

Serves 4