Saturday, June 30, 2012

Foodie Pen Pals.

About a month ago, I mentioned i was participating in a trade off called Foodie Pen Pals.  Click HERE to read more about it and sign up. Basically, you get matched up with someone, usually in your own country, and send them a Food parcel that is valued at 15 dollars or less. Just to mix it up a bit, you also get matched with someone else who sends you a parcel. So you are not sending and receiving from the same person. I sent a parcel of New Brunswick goodies off to Saskatchewan, and i received a lovely box of chocolate from Ontario! Here is a peek at what i received:

Some mini chocolate bars and a gourmet coconut chocolate bar, yum, chocolate coconut is one of my favourites! 

A box of chocolate mint tea, a perfect pick me up! And another of my favourites. Mint is perfect if you are tired, it wakes up the senses. 

Organic Chocolate covered raisins. I have tried a few things in this brand, but it is fairly new around here, so i had not found these yet. Their animal crackers are excellent! 

Cherry honey!! I have never had flavoured honey before, and Cherry is another of my favourite flavours! 

A box of home made chocolate bars with lots of healthy ingredients! 

They look kind of funny, and i'll admit i was hesitant to try them, but my Pen Pal said her kids love them! I tried a bite and they are delicious! It was a nice pick me up on a day that i was feeling yucky. 

And, to even all this chocolately goodness out, a health food magazine. I've already picked out a few recipes to try, but it has been a long couple of weeks so I have not had the chance yet. I have not seen this one on shelves around here, so I am glad for a chance to peruse something new! 

I also participated in another group this month, a crafting one. I have received my parcel but know mine has not arrived yet, so I am going to hold off posting until that arrives. No fair that I can post and my partner can't just because i slacked on the mailing date! 

If you are interested in joining Foodie Pen Pals, run on over to The Lean Green Bean and sign up, I highly recommend it, it's great trying something new! 

Hope everyone is having a great Canada Day Weekend (or almost 4th of July).

The Lean Green Bean

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Swimming in Cupcakes

Last week we had a team meeting. They routed all of our calls offshore for two hours while we sat, gabbed and ate. It wasn't all fun, we did go over some business, but it was really an enjoyable time. 

I am on the R&R committee at work, which means I helped set up and tear down our lovely meal. We had decided to go with a picnic themed sandwich bar. We had everything set out for people to make their own sandwiches, and we added a few picnic goodies like watermelon, chips and a lovely cake for dessert. I made these little cuties as a contribution to our meal, it is something I found online.

I started out with a cake mix, quick and easy. I used a Rainbow Bit mix, and just made it into cupcakes.

Yummy! They would have been perfect as is, Rainbow Bit is one of my favourites. I slapped some blue icing onto them. And i discovered just how difficult it is to make waves with a knife.

I slightly stretched peach candy rings and slid a Teddy Graham (no name brand) into each, this is their floaty ring. Then i just perched them on top of each cupcake! 

I have seen other versions that have sand made out of crushed graham crackers, or little umbrellas that you get in bar drinks, but i decided not to go so fancy. 

Everyone thought they were really cute, and i had a few people fighting over the last two! I guess cake mixes are sometimes the way to go!

Hope everyone is having a great first full week of summer! It has been raining non-stop here, we may have to break out the pool floaties to! 

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Homemade Nacho Dip

Last week, cheez whiz was on sale for 3.99 a jar, half price! I have not had cheez whiz in years, one because of the price, and two because i'm a little wary of the word 'processed'. But, i have a few recipes that call for it that i want to try out, so i went for it. This is something i came up with years ago when i was looking for a munch and had nothing to dip my Tostitos in, I threw together some ingredients and made a yummy treat, homemade nacho cheese. 

I start with a good glop of cheez whiz. Usually about 1/4 of the medium jar. This is enough for one serving. I also add about a tsp of garlic butter. 

I turn the stove onto medium to start melting them together, and as it melts i stir and add milk to thin it. Usually about a Tbsp at a time until it looks good. Meanwhile, i chop a bit of green pepper and onion.

This is a mini cutting board, and a toothpick laying beside the chopped veggies, so when i say a little bit, i mean a little bit :-) Usually i try to cut them really fine, but i didn't bother this time. 

When it is thin enough, i add garlic powder, the veggies and some cayenne pepper for a bit of kick. I keep stirring it until it is nice and hot (i do not like cold nacho cheese, i am always going back to the microwave with it). Break out the Tostitos and you are good to go! Yum!

It has been a busy week, hope everyone is having a great one! It is almost Father's Day weekend, we are heading to my parents Sunday for BBQ, can't wait!

Have a good week, everyone!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pierogi Casserole

I'm back from vacation! A day and a half early, but that's OK. So today I am working on laundry (boo) and catching up. This is a recipe I made a week ago before we left. We each had a serving or two, and then I froze the rest. I found this on Kraft Canada, i was looking for potato recipes because they were on buy one get one the week before, so i got two bags.

Easy Pierogi Casserole. 

9 lasagne noodles, uncooked.
4 cups hot mashed potatoes.
1/2 cup (1/2 of 250-g tub) Herb & Garlic Cream Cheese.
1 pkg. (80 g) Real Bacon Bits (or about 6 pieces real bacon, cooked & crumbled).
2 cups Shredded Cheddar Cheese, divided.

Cook noodles as directed on package. Meanwhile, combine mashed potatoes, cream cheese, 1/2 cup chopped bacon and 1 cup shredded cheese. Spray 13X9 glass dish, layer 3 noodles, cover with 1/3 of potato mixture, add 3 more noodles, more potato, last three noodles and remaining potatoes. Top with remaining bacon and cheese. Cover, bake 30 minutes at 375 F, uncover and bake another 3 to 5 minutes or until cheese is brown and bubbly. Let sit 10 minutes before serving.

This was extremely easy to make, and if you already have the potatoes ready, just heat them and layer and dinner is almost ready. It said to serve it with a salad, so I had a piece with a small ceaser. Mr No Veggies had two pieces straight.

It made a great big dish, i have about 6 pieces left over in the freezer. We both agreed it is great, but it would be just as good, if not better, without the pasta. Maybe it is because i used ready to use noodles, and i didn't boil them correctly or long enough, but they just seemed tough. I am definitely making this again, but i may just use it as a potato dish, omitting the pasta. 

Vacation time was really enjoyable, this was my first real vacation. My beau could not get the time off because he just started a new job, he is a trucker, so I just went with him, We left Saint John Monday morning, drove to Halifax, loaded 8 Audis(cars) for Montreal, went there and unloaded at the dealership, then loaded 9 more Hondas for Halifax. They did not have any work for  him there for yesterday and today, so they sent him home instead of running them down and coming back empty; he will take them the rest of the way Monday. 

St-Juste-du-Lac Lake, Quebec, Canada. 

I took lots of pictures of Quebec, since i had never been there before; and really enjoyed the trip, although it was a bit boring at times! And sleeping in a small bunk is not comfy, i slept like a baby last night back in my own bed! 

Farmland, Quebec, Canada. Flat as far as you can see...I'm told the mountain is most likely in Vermont, USA!

Hope everyone has had a great week, I don't plan on disappearing again anytime soon. I still have two more potato recipes to try! 

Have a good weekend everyone!!