Saturday, May 29, 2010

Quick breakfast

It has been awhile since i updated, i worked night shift this past week, and it seems to take a lot out of me. If i do not sleep in late, i usually spend the mornings on the couch reading a book. The end of a long week, with a long weekend ahead, warrants a trip to the country to visit the homestead.

So i woke up this morning with lots to do before heading out to the country for the night. I have to pack some clothes, clean my kitchen, water the plants, and get ready for the day. As i was not really hungry, i decided to let breakfast cook itself while i started in on my chores.

This breakfast is simple, just crack 2 eggs into a bowl, whisk them together with some milk and your choice of spices. Drop a 10 to 12" pita into a pie plate, pour the egg mixture in, and set another pita on top. For a bit of extra flavor today i added bacon bits and Parmesan cheese. You can add veggies, your choice of cheese, ham, anything you like, so long as the egg mixture does not rise above the pita.

Don't worry about pushing the top pita into the egg mixture, it rises as it cooks and will meet the top quickly!

Bake this in the oven at about 350 F. While it was cooking, i got the dishes done, so now all i have to do is pack and water the plants.

After 20 minutes pull it out and poke the center to be sure the egg is set. Sometimes this is difficult to tell if an oily cheese is used. If it needs it, cook for another 5 or 10 minutes. Slice like a pizza, and serve with some ranch dressing, fruit and juice or milk.

This is a lot of food, it would serve two people. I seldom eat it all unless i know i am going to have a very active day with a late or no lunch. Since i am only one, i usually wrap the leftovers tight and stick it in the refrigerator until tomorrow. Best to re-heat in the oven, microwave makes it soggy.

Now, off to the country!

Saturday, May 22, 2010


It has been a wonderful day.The weather was beautiful from sunrise to sunset, hot and sunny. I went for a long walk with my family and looked at brand new cars. And i got my first real sunburn of the season.

So after my walk, i opened every window in the house and hauled out some hamburger...but what to do with it? I thought about just making a plain hamburger, but while out walking we had stopped for lunch and that is what we ended up having. Meatballs? Well, i did not really feel like pasta, i have already had that a few times this week. Meatloaf? Mmm, i have not made that in awhile!

While the meat was defrosting in the microwave, i chopped some onions and green peppers fine. I added these to the meat, as well as some grated Parmesan, about 1 Tbsp of ketchup, some store bought spice mix, and some dried garlic. I mixed it all together, slapped it in the pan, and scootched it into something resembling a loaf. I do not like touching raw red meat, it is disgusting. So i try to touch it as little as i can while making burgers, balls and loaves.

After cleaning up, i baked my little loaf at 375 F for about half an hour, then i mixed the topping. When i was a kid, my mom just used BBQ sauce or ketchup. Tonight, i decided to get creative! I used about 2 tsp of Heinz 51 sauce, and 1 tsp each honey mustard and ketchup, after i stirred them together (and tasted) i added a drip of VH steak sauce, it might have been abut 1/8 of a tsp. I spread this mixture onto the meatloaf and stuck it back into the oven.

Meanwhile, i scrubbed a potato, stabbed it and stuck it in the microwave. It takes 6 minutes to bake, i recommend turning it over at 3 minutes, or else sometimes there is a little raw spot where it sits on the glass turntable. I had also decided to have some veggies with my meal. I boiled a small pot of water and set a small strainer on top. I do not have a veggie steamer, so this is what i use. I put the frozen veggie mix on top (green & yellow beans and carrots) and in the bottom boiling water, i put 1/4 cup of frozen peas. By the time the potato is cooked, so are the veggies. I have to balance the lid on the pot, and it lets a bit of steam out, but the steam that is contained does what it should.

I love garlic butter and Parmesan on my baked potatoes, so when it comes out of the microwave, i slice and add those right away so they melt into it. Plate the veggies by dumping the top ones out of the 'steamer' then use the strainer to drain the peas. No extra dishes! Slice the meatloaf, and serve! Yummy home cooked comfort food in a flash.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Weeknight Lasagna Toss -- Homemade Hamburger Helper

I like to call this recipe homemade Hamburger Helper, because that is what it is! Without all the extra yummy preservatives! This is the first time i made a full batch of this recipe, a few years ago i tried it several times scaled down to 1/4, it turned out good, but now i see not quite the same.

The recipe comes from a Kraft What's Cooking of my favorites! I have back issues for the last 8 years! It states that it is a quick alternative to lasagna on a busy night...but i think it took longer to make than my lasagna recipe, which i also got out of a Kraft magazine. This is a picture of the review and the dish directly from the pages of Kraft. Looks delicious!

So, to make this lovely, cheesy, pasta masterpiece, you will need the following: (makes four 2 cup servings)

3/4 LB lean ground beef
2 cups chopped green peppers (about 1 +1/2 medium peppers)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 jar (700 mL) pasta sauce
1 + 2/3 cups water
1/2 cup 'Zesty Italian' dressing (recipe recommends Kraft)
12 oven ready lasagna noodles, broken into quarters
1 cup shredded cheese (recipe recommends Kraft 4 cheese Italinao)

Brown Meat in large saucepan or deep cast iron skillet on medium heat, drain.

Add peppers, garlic, pasta sauce, water and dressing; bring to a boil. Stir in noodles, reduce heat to medium-low, cover.

Cook, stirring occasionally, 10 to 15 minutes or until noodles are tender. Remove from heat, sprinkle with cheese. Cover, let stand for 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.

This is the mess after adding the noodles. I accidentally missed the line 'bring to a boil' before adding the noodles, but it turned out alright, just a bit hard to stir at first. The sheen on the top is from the Italian dressing. It was a new bottle and i got a lot of oil. Also, breaking lasagna noodles into quarters is not as easy as it may seem...i got more shards than quarters, but that is OK.

Now for the changes i made: I only added 1/2 a green pepper, it looked like lots, i didn't think it needed more. I used dried garlic, as i am not crazy about chopping garlic, i did not have any and the Market was closed. Next time, i will only use 8 or 10 noodles, unless i have company and am actually serving it all, 12 seemed like to much.

I also added the cheese in the bowl and covered it with a pie plate for a few minutes. This is because i was only taking 1 serving and freezing the rest for lunches, and i think it might be better to add the cheese as it is eaten. I am not sure if it freezes well, neither the magazine nor the website state if it is, but we shall see!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Pub Grub Night (Quesadillas)

Some nights, i get home from work and do not feel like cooking. We are all the same, admit it! Usually, i end up forcing myself to cook something, if it is a Friday i might order out, but once in awhile i feel like something different. This is when i resort to what i like to call Pub Grub. Food you can get in a pub: it's cheap, it's fast, it's good.

It depends on what i have on hand, some Pub Grub nights end up being as simple as frozen onion rings and fries baked in the oven. Tonight, i decided to get a bit fancy and use the leftovers. I had some chicken in the freezer from last weekends Crockpot adventure, some veggies, cheese, 2 pitas and, of course, my ever versatile tomato sauce.

First, i preheat the oven to 325 F. Not to hot, because all you are looking to do is melt the cheese. I build it directly on the cookie sheet. On both pitas i spread some of my sauce. Then to one, i add the veggies, sprinkle with Parmesan, then add chicken and cheese. It does not matter what veggies or cheese you use. Today i used green peppers, onions and Mozzarella, because that is what i had on hand.

Finally, add the top pita and stick it in the oven for about 6 to 8 minutes, turn it over and give it a few more. Again, you are just trying to brown it and melt the cheese, so it sticks together nicely. While this is cooking, do a bit of clean up and chop some veggies to go on the side. Today i dipped carrots and celery in a bit of ranch dressing. When the quesadilla comes out of the oven, slice (it is easiest with a pizza cutter) and serve!

Tonight, i added a glass of chocolate milk to cool the heat of the sauce. Since i made it a week ago, the cayenne pepper is starting to kick in. Now i can kick back with a book, and relax the night away! (not really, i have a tonne of laundry to do) .

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Rainy Saturday pork chops

I woke up this morning and it was raining, boo. Not that i really had any big outdoor plans today, anyway, but a rainy day is a dreary day.

I had company coming for dinner, but I really did not feel like cooking anything, and i am low on groceries, so i thought i should throw something in my Crockpot. I have this cool little tin full of Crockpot recipes, so after going through it twice and doing a few online searches, i picked out this one : Simply Delicious Pork, and it was all the title promised! Of course, it did not look quite so fancy, but still delicious!

Of course, i had no pork chops in the freezer, so i must brave the rain and walk to the Old City Market to pick up some meat and apples. I had to go out to the library, anyway. It only cost about 6.50 for 2 boneless chops at one of the meat vendors, and about 1.60 for the apples at Baleman's Produce. I held off on my walk as long as i could, as the rain was coming down quite steadily. By 1:00 it was easing, so i pulled out my poor umbrella that has seen better days (i live on a street that can be quite windy) and away i go Uptown. Of course, half way there the skies opened up, but i got some nice rainy day pictures! This one is the main path though the Loyalist Burial Grounds, Uptown. I walk through here daily, it is a gorgeous place.

Not 10 minutes after i got home, the rain stopped (of course). But I threw the chops in the slow cooker. The recipe is as follows. It is supposed to serve 6 people, i cut everything in half and used 2 chops.

1 + 1/2 Lbs boneless pork loin, cut into 6 pieces. OR 6 boneless pork chop loins.
4 medium Golden Delicious Apples, sliced
3 Tbsp packed brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt

Place pork in Crockpot, cover with apples. Combine brown sugar, cinnamon and salt in a small bowl, sprinkle over apples. Cover; cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

6 hours was quite sufficient. In fact, it was more like only 5 +1/2 hours, and i had to scoop them out because when i stabbed with a fork, they started to fall apart! I took the bit of the juice that was at the bottom, put it in a pot and then mixed about 1 ts flour with about 1/8 cup cold water and mixed that with the drippings. I whisked it as it heated and thickened and it made a delicious apple flavored gravy.

To go with this, i made some potatoes. All i did to them was wash and slice, i didn't even peel them. I spread some garlic butter in a pan and then sprinkled it with some spice mix (Mrs. Dash). I threw the potatoes in and tossed them around, and then sprinkled on more spice. Then i just baked them at 350 F for about 30 minutes. I give them a mix after about 15 to make sure they are not sticking and so one side does not burn.

So, by the time dinner was cooked, the sun was coming out. Now all i have to do is clean up my extremely messy kitchen and maybe go for another walk to get some groceries!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Breakfast for dinner

I went for a long walk tonight and got home quite a bit later than expected, so i decided to whip up a quick dinner, an egg wrap!

My egg wraps are kind of 'leftover' egg wraps, i throw a bit of whatever is in the fridge into it. Tonight i browned a bit of onion while i mixed 2 eggs, about 2 Tbsp of milk, some spice mix (like Mrs. Dash), some Parmesan cheese and some bacon bits. I whipped all this with a fork, so it will cook up nice and fluffy. Then i poured it over my onions.

Usually, i can turn an egg round in my small frying pan with out ripping it. It comes out a fine circle to match my pita. Unfortunately, tonight it tore. But that is OK. After letting the concoction cook one one side, i flip it, of course. So long as it is cooked enough that it will not need to be flipped again, i spread some of my home made pasta sauce on it and sprinkle some mozzarella cheese (or what ever is on hand).

While the cheese is melting, and the bottom is cooking, i spread some mayo (Miracle Whip) on a pita. Then i slide the egg concoction onto the pita, and roll it up! It looks kind of nasty, but tastes yummy!

I usually don't bother tucking in the ends like a burrito because i use a knife and fork to eat it with. I recommend using a sharp knife, or it will be messy! Usually once it is sliced open, you can see the layers quite distinctively, but since it was not flipped whole, today you can't.

I also sometimes have this for breakfast, of course. Usually it is a weekend treat. I serve it with a bit of yogurt, a banana and some juice!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Quick Pasta Sauce

Home made Pasta sauce usually takes all day; but a couple years ago, i found a quick, and cheap, way to make it! All you really need is one small can of tomato sauce, and one of tomato paste. I usually use the garlic paste to add flavor. In my grocery store, each of these cans cost less than 2 dollars. Throw these both into a pot (use a small rubber spatula to get the paste out), and stir until heated. Now usually, i find this mixture quite i raid the spice rack!

To my sauce / paste mixture, i add 1 tsp garlic butter, a small dash of Cayenne pepper, and either some parsley and onion powder, or a premade spice mix (like Mrs. Dash). I never add salt and pepper, but you can if you wish. Add whatever spices you have to your own taste. If i am using it all right away, i add hamburger, green peppers, onions and some Parmesan cheese. Put i am just 1, so i usually do not use it all right away.

Stir this on LOW heat (it will boil on a very low temperature, and don't turn your back, it will make a mess!) After it cools, i usually put it in an empty yogurt container. They are airtight and it will keep for up to 3 weeks. I find it will get a bit of condensation on the top of the sauce when it comes out of the fridge, but give it a stir and it is good as new. It gets better with age!

I use this sauce with everything, and i mean everything. It adds flavor! Mix a spoonful into a pot of KD. Add some into your grilled cheese before cooking. I even use it on my eggs! Of course, it can be used for plain old pasta and meatballs as well. Either way, it is delicious, quick and easy.

I am going to enjoy my pasta and sauce while watching Game 6 of the playoffs, Moncton has won 3 games, Saint John 2. It is the best of seven, so this could be the deciding game!

Let's go Seadogs!!!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Chicken Noodle soup & biscuits.

We are going though a bit of miserable weather here the past few days...cold, windy and rainy. We had an extremely warm March, so we are making up for it now, i guess. So on that note, i decided to whip p some comfort food for Sunday dinner. That, and because we are all feeling miserable because our favorite Hockey team lost last night :-(

So since they are quick and easy, and can be re-heated to serve warm, the tea biscuits came first. This recipe originally came out of one of those old community cook books, my mom seems to have one for every town from here to Timbuktu. This is the recipe she always used, served with home made beans, soup, potato scallop or stews.

2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
3 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
4 Tbsp shortening
1 cup milk

Sift dry ingredients together. Cut in shortening. Add milk and mix well. Turn onto floured board, knead a little and roll out. Cut into 24 biscuits. Bake at 400 F for 15 to 20 minutes.

My homemade chicken noodle soup is a recipe i made up. From November 2007 until March 2008, i lived in a small apartment with a very tight budget, i lived off of 50$ a month for groceries. So, i shopped mostly in the bulk store, or the 'price chopped for quick sale' shelf. I would use 1 chicken breast for 2 meals, cooking one half and chopping the other up for soup or a stir fry. Pastas, dried soup mixes, baking supplies all came from the Bulk Barn. And I made up a lot of recipes!

For 2 or 3 servings of my soup, i fill my pot with water and bring it to a boil. (Sometimes i use chicken stock, but today i forgot to take it out of the freezer). At the Bulk Barn, they sell chicken soup stock powder, so to my boiling water, i add about 1 and a half heaping Tablespoons of this (the recipe on the bin states 4 Tbsp to 1 Liter of water), and then i add my secret ingredient, 1 tsp of brown sugar.

I boil this while i chop the veggies. Today i used a large potato, 1/2 a large carrot, and a small piece of onion, all chopped into small cubes. Throw it all into the boiling water and let cook until it is about 1/2 done, then throw in about a handful of pasta per person (i usually use Veggie spirals)

I cook all this together until the pasta is almost done, then i put in about 1/4 cup frozen peas and the (precooked) chicken. It only takes a few minutes for the peas to cook, and i am ready to serve with my tea biscuits. The left over biscuits can go into the freezer, makes great strawberry shortcake, or even served for breakfast with an egg. the soup can go into the fridge for lunch tomorrow, or into the freezer for next week!

Serve together, with jam or butter on the biscuits. Makes a nice comforting meal, and it only took 35 minutes to make!!


Friday, May 7, 2010

Weekday Waffles

When i make waffles on a weekday, i usually give myself a time saving boost by using a pancake mix. To make one waffle, i use about 1/2 cup of mix and 1/2 cup of water. Some days when i am not feeling so hungry, i will use about 1/3 cup each it covers about 3/4 of the waffle iron.

Once it is mixed together is when the fun begins! You can add all kinds of stuff to it to jazz it up, remember though, these recipes are for a single waffle, adjust accordingly to make more:

Belgian Waffles: 1 tsp sugar, 1 tsp pure vanilla extract.

Banana Waffles: 1/2 banana, chopped fine, 1/8 tsp nutmeg.

Apple Cinnamon: 1/4 of any sweet apple, chopped fine, 1/8 tsp cinnamon.

Chocolate Chip: 1/8 cup mini chocolate chips.

I usually just throw in whatever i have on hand, today i had 1/8 tsp each cinnamon and vanilla extract. Pour it into the waffle maker and cook as per manufacture's instructions. While it is cooking, use the time to start your lunch, pack your homework, put on makeup, whatever will make your morning move along faster while your 'weekend' breakfast is cooking!

Serve with fruit and a glass of juice or milk on the side, and you have a healthy weekend breakfast on the weekday!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Lasagna Night

MMM, Lasagna, my favorite dish. So on a high that comes with your favorite team winning a game (Game 3, Seadogs won, 6 - 4 last night!) i decided to create a lasagna for dinner tonight. This recipe i pulled out of an old Kraft What's Cooking magazine. It's super easy and fast, a perfect weeknight meal!

5 simple ingredients to perfect lasagna:

So, here we go, Quick Lasagna!

Brown 1 Lb hamburger in a large pan, drain if necessary. If you wish to add veggies (green pepper, onion) to be cooked, now is the time to do it.

Measure out 3 cups pasta sauce into a large bowl, if your jar does not have quite 3 cups (as mine usually does not) i top it off with a bit of salsa, add 1 cup water, stir. Put a thin layer of this on the bottom of your pan (to prevent sticking) then add hamburger, veggies if desired, and a handful of cheese (about 3/4 cup) to the rest. Mix Well.

Layer ready to cook noodles (about 12) (NOT the kind you have to boil) and sauce mixture in your pan, usually about 3 layers. Top with about 1 + 1/2 cups cheese. I don't measure the cheese, i just use the whole package. Usually i stick some Parmesan and Mozzarella in the sauce, and Cheddar on top, or vice versa but use whatever is on hand!

Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly and a knife can go through the center. I usually cover it with tinfoil the first 15 minutes, just because i prefer the cheese to be less brown.

~ DON'T forget the water, it is what cooks the noodles!!! ~

So, after 30 minutes in the oven, here it is:

Enjoy your pasta night with a quick garlic bread. If i don't have any on hand, i just spread some garlic butter on some regular sandwich bread and throw it in beside the lasagna in the last 8 minutes or so. Garlic butter is something i always have on hand because i use it in everything! I use it in mashed potatoes, or to grease a pan if i am making something savory (this recipe does not require it, though).

A tip for making lasagna (i make it a lot, so I've figured them out along the way) : If you have to cut the noodles to put them in the pan, switch sides that the cut ones are on with each layer, it will make it so much easier when it comes time to slice and serve (it sticks together better).

This recipe freezes very well, too! That is why i make it so often, i make a large one on the weekend, and freeze leftovers for weekday lunches! I wrap them individually in tinfoil, bring it out in the morning, unwrap while frozen and stick it into one of my plastic containers. By lunchtime, it is thawed and all i have to do is microwave enough to warm it! Yum!


Sunday, May 2, 2010

Game 2.

So game 2 started off in Moncton this afternoon at 4 pm. Pray to the Hockey Gods that the Seadogs win!!!

I started off with a batch of chocolate chip muffins...i have to admit i cheated. Last fall i bought a package of muffin mix and used half of it, so i have basically moving the package from shelf to shelf in my cupboard ever since. This morning, it finally made its way to the counter, so i decided to make them. Other than tasting a little stale, they turned out good.

During first period, I made Oatmeal chocolate chip & cinnamon cookies, mmm, my favorite. And the Wildcats made 2 I am sure by now, my neighbors think i am insane, because i am yelling at the television. I am actually watching it on TV and listening to it on the radio (i was able to get it in the living room today) because the radio commentary is easier to listen to than the television one.

So while the last batch is cooking, second period starts...and the Wildcats score again!!! I was in the kitchen when i hear the announcer say that ominous word again, but this time it was the Seadogs!! YYYYAAYYYY!!! Finally, they are in the game! And i am yelling at the television, "Do it again!!!!"
Don't the cookies look yummy?

Sitting on the couch picking a new recipe and there is another penalty for Saint John, the announcer states it may be one that should have been debated, and during the power play, Moncton scores again. :-(

So now in the middle of the 2nd period, the score is 4 to 1 for Moncton, and the Dogs are putting in their back up goalie. Three minutes later, i am yelling at the television again, the new goalie is just standing around outside the blue circle and leaves the net wide open...2 goals within 2 minutes!!!! BRING BACK THE REGULAR GOALIE!!! (still looking for another recipe, just more focused on the game). Thankfully, the next 15 minutes he does a better job, and one minute left, the Seadogs score again!!!!

Panning the crowd as the teams exit the ice, the camera catches my sister, who managed to get tickets to the game. And, now at the end of the 2nd, the score is 6 to 2 for the Wildcats...booo! Come on Seadogs!!

Near the end of intermission, i find a new recipe in a cookbook i received for Christmas last year. It is a cherry dessert, and i am having company for dinner, so i decide try it. While i slip the base into the oven to bake, the Wildcats score again...and another while i am in the kitchen making the topping. Another game lost...we must re-coup and win games three and four!!! And another goal...come on Seadogs, what is wrong tonight???!!! So while the Maraschino cherry squares are baking, i cleaned up and watched the rest of the game, although i find myself wondering why. Finally the Gods smile and the Seadogs score! Although it will not win them the game, it makes them look just slightly better.

The cherry dessert looks very sweet, i pulled it out of the oven because it looks a bit dark, and i had to give it a gouge in the center because it didn't look done. Hope it tastes good!

Five seconds left of the game and the refs pull one of the Seadogs players on penalty, and because there is already a Wildcats penalty, the game is now 4 on 4. The coaches disapprove of the ref's decision and start to get into it on the bench! The Dogs coaches are yelling at the Cats coaches, and the fans are throwing things into the Dogs' bench...not very sportsmanlike for either side.

Final score is 9 to 3....oh, boy. Come on Dogs, lets get our acts together and chase the Cats back to Moncton during Game three!




1 cup sugar
1 cup flour
1 cup quick cooking oats
1/2 tsp salt
6 squares semi sweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup softened butter
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375 F, beat butter and sugar, add egg, milk and vanilla. Add remaining ingredients, stir well.
Drop by teaspoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased sheets.
Bake 12 to 13 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on sheets 1 minute before removing to racks.

~The milk was not included in the original recipe, i added it because i found them to hard.
~I hate chopping chocolate and am lazy, therefore i use a cup of chocolate chips.


1 + 1/3 cups flour
2 Tbsp white sugar
few grains salt
1/2 cup margarine

mix together and press into bottom of an ungreased 9 x 12 pan. bake for 15 minutes at 350 F


2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 cup brown sugar, packed tightly
1/3 cup flour
1 + 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
10 oz jar maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
1/2 cup walnuts

Combine all ingredients, mix well and pour over base. Bake at 350 F for about 30 minutes. Ice with frosting made with cherry juice when cool, sprinkle with coconut.


~I did not ice it or put coconut on it, it looked sweet enough as is.
~ I used a mini food processor to zap the cherries.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A bit of background

So i figured i should at least share some background before i start randomly posting recipes on the internet. So here goes!

I come from a family of bakers. My grandmother (on my dad's side) had 6 kids. Back some 60 odd years ago, the main job of the woman was still mostly stay at home and raise the babies, which is what she did. After raising 6 babies, she had 8 grand-babies, so my Grandmother had LOTS of people to feed. Apparently the only thing she could not make was homemade bread.

My father grew up in a small town called Grand Bay. It is approximately 15 minutes West of Saint John, New Brunswick. The family moved there when my dad was 6 years old, into a one room house in the middle of an apple orchard and slowly converted it into a beautiful house. Now called Grand Bay - Westfield, it is a beautiful small town with all the perks of both city and country living. My father lived there until he was married. We moved when i was 11 years old, so he lived there about 35 years.

About 20 minutes West of Grand Bay, is a community called Welsford. Small spot on the map that has a golf course, Irving store and a diner, as well as some of the best rock climbing in the area. This is where my Mom grew up, and back then there was a ski hill as well. This is where we moved when i was 11.

My Mom's mother worked for a living. My mother grew up on a farm and so while her father worked that and raised the 2 kids, my grandmother worked for the local Post Office. Apparently, my grandfather was able to grow anything he tossed into the ground (my mother says i have the same talent), and he was also able to cook. My grandfather passed when i was just a preschooler, so i do not remember a lot of his cooking talents. My mother is mostly self-taught, though. She can bake just about anything! She recalls a Home Ec class in school where the teacher had them make tea biscuits and hot chocolate every week, so she did not learn it there!

So with three girls to raise, and with both my parents only working seasonal as i grew up, my mother baked for our lunches. Everything from mini pies to cookies. Christmas time revolved around baking. I recall going to my Grandmother's in Grand Bay on Boxing Day and finding her dining room table stretched from end to end with sweet delicacies. After she passed, i found out that she had used a lot of shortcuts to make such splenderous treats, but it still does not take away from the magic.

As for myself and my two sisters, we all have inherited our mother's and grandmother's gifts in some way. My older sister can cook any meal from sctratch, baking...well she has a few recipes that are successful. I have the baking gift but i can never get pastry right; my cooking usually turns out somewhat odd...but usually edible. My younger sister can bake or cook anything she puts her mind to. I enjoy baking, and do it alot. I do not eat alot of that i bake, i usually give it away. Of the three sweet breads i made last night, at least 2 will either go into the hands of another or make it to the freezer for a future potluck.

So this will be a place to share all my baking secrets, i have a binder packed full of recipes that i want to try and a lot of old ones that my family and i have made many times over.

So, bon appetite!