The Sandwich Generation – Hold the Mayo

June 27, 2015 at 12:07 pm | Posted in Depression, Family Ties, Toeses and Noses | Leave a comment
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Somehow the years slipped by when I wasn’t looking and here I am nearly 50 with two beautiful, growing Daughters of my own. Not quite the future I imagined. I used to be this Gen-X party girl, a part of the MTV-Generation who loved 80s music, going to concerts, had big hair, and loved parties. Now I’m one of the many in the so-called “Sandwich Generation”. I have my own family to take care of, and I am helping look after my aging parents.

I don’t mind. They looked after me for the nearly 20 years I lived with them. They continued to look after me when I moved out because I was never good with money and always ran short.

When I was a little kid, I remember running across fields, holding my Dad’s hand and it always felt like we were flying. He would have been in his early 50s then and he was invincible – to me anyway. My parents had me later in life. Whenever someone asks how old my other siblings are, I tell them that I have a sister who is 21 years older than me, and a brother who is five years older than me.

Then the stare starts…

Then you see the wheels inside their heads spinning as they try to figure this out…

I let them off the hook. “I was an ‘oops’…” I’d tell them.

“Ohhhhh….” They’d always answer.

To further confuse things, I’d often mention that my Mom and my Sister were pregnant at the same time and I have a niece who is eight days older than me. Back in the 60s that must have been embarrassing. That’s how I always felt any time I was in my Sister’s presence. I shouldn’t have been born. What was Mom thinking?? How could she do that, she was supposed to be a Grandmother, not a Mother again

My parents were in the height of their ‘careers’ when I was little. My Parents were blue collar workers all their lives.  We didn’t really have much growing up, but it never seemed like we did without. My Mom worked as a sales clerk at K-Mart for too many years. She worked hard to make a living and bring home money so that we (my brother and I) could have what we needed. My Sister was long out of the house with her own family at this point.

My Mom used to take in sewing on the side to help make ends meet. I remember she worked as a dressmaker for some time and she would have clients come round to our old house in Riverdale for fittings. I remember she would have them stand in front of a floor length mirror that my Dad made for her. I would watch from the doorway because I wasn’t allowed to come in while she was working.

My eldest Daughter now has that mirror. I can picture Lexy in my mind, older, getting ready for a date and admiring herself in my Mom’s mirror.

After I moved out in my late teens, my Mom sent home countless meals she lovingly prepared, so that my apartment fridge would be well stocked. My Mom was the best home cook I ever knew. She taught me so many of her wonderful recipes and instilled a love of food and cooking in me from an early age.

Now My Mom has dementia and can’t remember how to use a stove. She has Diabetic Nerve Damage and can’t open a jar or a tin. Some days she doesn’t know who my daughter is. Once she forgot who I am… there is a disconnect that is hard to deal with sometimes – yet other days, she’s so lucid and can remember most things that I’ve long forgotten. It amazes me how the brain works.

My Dad was a Carpenter for most of his life. He started out in Grenå, Denmark as a Rope Maker by trade. There wasn’t that much call for that profession during ‘The Great Depression’, so he pretty much did whatever odd job he could do to survive. My Dad was one of 15 kids – Winters in Denmark were pretty cold back at the turn of the last Century. He had two sets of twin brothers, three of the four dying before they were a year old. His Mother was his Father’s second wife and when my Grandfather died (of a back ‘ailment’) in the 1930s, he left my Grandmother to raise nearly a dozen children on her own. A poor, fisherman’s daughter. There were no TLC shows to help out back then.

My Dad is now the last one of his siblings left.

When Dad moved to Canada in the 1950s he switched to Carpentry. He found that trade much easier to find odd jobs then it was to work with Hemp. He was quite skilled. I have several pieces he made with his hands that I will always cherish. He could take apart anything made from wood and refinish it so that its natural beauty shone through. He could name any tree by looking at the bark, or the leaves. He knew the type of tree by the wooden planks in the store – he’d tell me, “Look, this one’s Oak” or he’d say “that’s Mahogany, it’s a beautiful piece”, while running his hand deftly over the lumber. He’d often tell me what his plans were for the next project when he needed to make something for the house during one of our many trips to the lumber yard.  When we cleared out the house they lived in since the late-80s, we came across the odds and ends of amazingly beautiful pieces of wood that were still sitting there … waiting for the next project.

In 1985 when my Great-Nephew was born, my Dad built a cradle for him out of old skids that he would bring home from work. He dressed the boards and uncovered beautiful pine planks. He used a couple of pieces of solid Oak for the runners. There was not a single nail in it – dowels and glue and dove-tail joints. He crafted it after an 18th Century French Canadian design. My Mother bought a beautiful layette for it. It was the most beautiful thing I ever saw.  My Dad was so proud of the piece.

My Niece wanted to use it as a planter.

My Mom was always the tough one in our family. I think her Mother raised her that way.  She had it hard as a child, growing up in East Prussia, having to escape to Germany during the Second World War.  My Grandmother would sternly tell her, “Don’t cry”. “Stand straight”. “Eat your dinner”. “Keep neat”. “Don’t make a mess”.

My Dad was always the soft one, with me anyway. He’s the one I would snuggle up to when I was sick with a fever and just needed some comfort. He’s the one who would fix my toys when I was too careless with them and broke them (usually by throwing them at my Brother). He was the one who started up his table saw at 8:00 on a Saturday morning and to this day, the smell of sawdust makes me smile, and a little sad. He helped me with my homework – my favourite memories of when he tried to help me do my English homework, listening to him pronounce the words with his Danish accent. He was my Superman.

Now he needs help getting out of bed and he can hardly talk.

When he speaks, he does so with great difficulty, as though he is drunk. His legs no longer work the way they should. He needs a walker to get around but he is still very unstable. When he tries to hold a fork or a cup of coffee, his arm wavers greatly from side to side – spilling everything, he’s unable to control his fine motor skills.

It’s as though his warranty has expired.

Even as late as last year they were saying that the only way they would leave their beautiful house in the country was in a pine box. Now we are looking at long-term care facilities to become their new homes.

My Sister was looking after them for the past year and a bit, because my parents moved to be closer to her. She was their primary caregiver – she would drive them to doctor’s appointments, do their laundry, bring them meals – anything they needed. About a month ago, my Sister had a Stroke. They said it was a mild one but we don’t think she will ever be like she was. She is doing better now, but she has a long, long road ahead.

So it’s up to my Brother and I to step up. It’s not like we haven’t helped out before, it’s just the amount of care needed by us has greatly increased. My Brother used to go up on weekends and a week during the Summer to take care of their property for years when they were still in their house. Now he and I go up every weekend to take my Mom grocery shopping and bring her homemade meals that my Brother or I have made for them to replenish their stock.

They have home care people who come to the house on a daily basis to make sure their day-to-day needs are looked after. It’s not enough. They are on a waiting list to get my Dad into a long-term facility, we’re hoping Mom with go with him. They’ve been married for nearly 56 years; it would be detrimental to their health to be separated now.

We are hoping that their new facility will be closer to where we live so we don’t need to spend nearly three hours each time travelling back and forth. It made sense when my Sister was well to have them live near her, but that situation has changed.  My Sister is 69, she’s allowed to slow down.

I hope we’ll find something soon. My Dad needs daily care and my Mom needs company of other people her own age. My Brother and I need to be able to not worry about them – at least not in the same way. We need to be comfortable that we all made the right decision and they are well looked after. We will still see them weekly as much as we are able. If they are closer it will make it that much better.

Mom, Dad and my Girls

Mom, Dad and my Girls

Just Because You Have a License, Doesn’t Mean You Should be Driving…

May 1, 2015 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Kidney Disease, Miscellaneous Crap, The Crap that Men Do | Leave a comment
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I have a premonition that the cause of my death will be stupidity. Stupidity and the other driver who thinks he has more of a right to the road than I do at that particular moment in time. Hopefully though, I’ll get to take the idiot with me.

I can understand why people go postal. I’m only surprised there’s not more of it.

I nearly took out a motorcycle on the 401 this morning because some asshole in front of me driving a Tempo … a FORD for Heaven’s sake, but I digress.  Anyway, this idiot decided not only did he need to switch lanes after I had already signaled and began moving into the lane, but I was infringing on his God-given right to be in front of the line. Keep in mind this is happening at highway speeds and I had to back off and move over to avoid a collision. Then he decided to move over in front of me and slam on the brakes – to ‘teach me a lesson’ (which is that he’s an idiot, thanks I knew that already). Then when I tried to get away from him again, he did the same thing – ‘whoa little lady, learn your place’. Yeah, place ‘this’ asshole (picture me performing lots of rude hand gestures right now).

I’m already in a bad mood because the second ‘specialist’ has basically told me that the pain in my back couldn’t possibly be the three big Kidney Stones bumping around, but it’s either a bad back or it’s all in my head. I so love condescension, watch me go from nice person to The Hulk in 3.5 seconds when that happens. So an episode of road rage just perfected my morning commute.

I can understand how that Tempo asshole would think I was in his space and flip me off. What I can’t understand is what happened to common decency, manners and respect for others. It seems to have gone the way of the Dodo. This is Canada. We say ‘excuse me’ when someone else bumps into us. What the fuck happened?

I’m noticing it more and more – road rage is building. I really don’t care about myself – sometimes it might be a blessing not to have to deal with shit anymore – but not when I have my kids in the car. Back off.

There is one car in Durham Region though that really annoys me. I see it every now and again because we seem to be on the road at the same time. The owner painted a slogan on the back of her beater something to the effect of ‘if you don’t back off I’ll brake check ya’. Classy. I’ve never wanted to Graffiti someone’s personal property more.

By the way, when I’m stuck behind some yahoo in a Civic doing 40 in a 60 km/h zone, crawling up my ass is not going to make all of us move faster and you’re going to further piss me off when we end up in the middle of a three-way metal-sandwich. Go ahead, hit me. Guess what? If that happens, you’ll be even later for your date with Miss Universe or your crack dealer, or you might not make it at all – now there’s a loss.

Even drive throughs are getting ridiculous. Sorry but Tim Horton’s coffee isn’t that good that you need to block the way of oncoming traffic because the drive-through line up has snaked across the parking lot. Let the other vehicles through, they’re not trying to bud in front of you.

Oh you know that new bus only lane they installed in the middle of Ajax? Guess what?!? It’s for buses only (and cars making a turn at the next entrance). It’s not your personal roadway to get ahead of the 100 cars in front of you who lined up wayyyyyy back up the hill. Last time I checked, a Prius was NOT a type of bus used by Metrolinx or Durham Regional Transit – move the fuck over and wait in line like everyone else asshole. Those ‘special’ people then try to nudge in front of my car when we get further down the line and they run out of lane … um no. If I just spent the last 10 minutes getting here, guess what, so do you.

People are so quick to flip you off. If they think you’re too close to their tail (perhaps we’re just trying to read your clever bumper stickers), out goes the middle finger. If you had to stop fast because someone dashed in front of you, there it is again.

I’ve even seen elderly people in their 80’s give other drivers the one fingered salute *smacks forehead*. It’s unreal.

Every day it’s something. All similar, but each day with a new twist. It doesn’t just happen to me, I see it happening to others as well. I’m just tired of it. And the girls wonder why I come home in such a pissy mood. I worry about their future. I hope they don’t end up so miserable and jaded like their mother.

When we’re all stuck in traffic, trying to turn right onto the main roadway, all the traffic is stopping for the red light ahead … let the person turning right into the lane in front of you please. Ending up 15 feet back further than you would have been probably won’t cause any further rifts in the time-space continuum, but you’ll be showing your Canadian colours and be polite for a change.

Who Said You Could Grow Up…?

February 6, 2015 at 4:00 am | Posted in All Things George, Birthdays, Caityisms, Family Ties, My Kid is a Donut, Sisters | Leave a comment
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IMGP0785…not me!

Happy 8th Birthday, Donut :) Today is the day that you can officially give up your car booster seat.  Today is the day that there will no longer be little Goat feet kicking the back of Daddy’s seat when we go for a ride somewhere.  Today is the day that Momma cancels each year so that you will stay my littlest-little one, for a bit longer anyway.

You’re growing in leaps and bounds and you’re in such a hurry to grow up so you can be a big girl like your Sister, Lexy.

Always my girl, you’ve told me time and again that you’re never moving out.

I should have much more to write about you, to you, I want to tell you how proud I am of you.  I want you to know that I think you are so beautiful and intelligent.  I want you to know how funny and kind you are.  I need you to know most of all that you are loved, without a doubt.

I hope your Birthday wishes and dreams all come true and somehow you can stay my little one for a while longer.  Happy Birthday Caity :) Love Momma.

 

Goodbye Old Friend…

January 29, 2015 at 3:18 pm | Posted in Miscellaneous Crap, Toeses and Noses | 2 Comments
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I lost a good friend today.  He was a co-worker of mine for the past ten years and we were quite close.  We went through 14 different bosses together and worked late into the night to get proposals out the door, sometimes across the world, but mostly down the street.  He stuck by me when my Husband was so sick with Kidney Disease and he listened to all the trials and tribulations of a Pregnant woman stuck beside him (me) – in fact, Caity used to kick excitedly whenever she heard the booming voice of ‘Uncle Randy’ – which usually made me tell him to shut up because I wanted her to go back to sleep and leave my aching ribs alone.

Randy was a giant, 6′ 6″ and his presence filled the room.  He was intelligent and had a quick wit.  He was worldy, having travelled much in his younger days.  He was quite the man about town in his University days, and some of the stories he would tell me were probably quite scandalous at the time.

He was a Gay man who was always looking for someone to love him – and I mean that in the best possible way.  He wanted companionship, love, and a lasting relationship and hey, if he was hot too, well that was just a plus ;)

He was a published author of mystery novels – Granny’s Chips was the one that made it.  He planned several other books, including a sequel to his first success.  He had so many ideas for different characters and story lines, and even a novel entirely in Fench.

He was Bilingual and proud of his French heritage, always trying to get me to speak it with him, but never getting much farther than ‘ca va?’ – I’m such an Anglophone.

He was cast as an extra in a couple of movies years ago – he’d be the guy sipping a coffee in a cafe scene somewhere and loved to travel.  His favourite places were France and England, but loved Switzerland and Italy just as much.

His plans before he became sick last year was to go Italy, Florence and Rome, and sit in a cafe and write his novel.  He even began taking Italian lessons so he would be able to get around easier.

He always thought of others even though not everyone appreciated him for the kind man he really was.  He used to sneak me back some genuine Fench Macaroons or Pate d’Fois Gras for Christmas upon return from one of his yearly sojourns to Nice.  I will miss being able to tell him about the events in my life, or even what’s going on at work.

He was a company man.  He would argue with management about the right way to do something because he wanted the best for the group, but he was a friend first.  I will miss him passing my office on the way for a smoke break and shouting ‘Heeeeellllllllooooooooo Dah-ling’ on his way past, or start talking to me in an exaggerated southern accent.  He made me laugh.

He had such a big heart.  Sadly it was a weak heart that couldn’t help him in the end.  He had Leukemia and although the doctors told him last Spring that his odds weren’t good, he pretty much told them to piss off, he was going to make it.

He already surpassed the doctor’s expectations but this morning he had had enough.  I said he was tired of the snow…

Best Soup… Ever!

January 3, 2015 at 5:03 pm | Posted in Food, Recipes, Toeses and Noses | Leave a comment
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20140701-153621-56181229.jpgI’ve made this soup a few times before but this time I cooked it in my Breville Fast Slow Cooker using the Pressure Cooker option instead of the Slow Cooker feature – which was good too, but omg this is a million times better :) I even sent Alex out in a snow storm to get the requisite French Bagette to eat with it ;)

I changed the recipe a bit as well, tweaking slightly, the new version is listed below:

Pressure Cooker Pasta Fagioli Soup

Ingredients:

– 1 lb lean Ground Beef
– 4 cloves of Garlic, finely minced
– 1.5 large Onions, diced
– 1/2 medium Parsnip sliced into medallions, then cut in half
– 4-5 Carrots sliced into thick medallions
– 2 stalks of Celery, diced
– 1 cup Pancetta, diced
– 1 can diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes
– 1 can Red Kidney Beans, drained and rinsed
– 1 can 6 (or 5) Bean blend, drained and rinsed
– 1 jar Ragu Original Pasta (Spaghetti) sauce
– 1 box Campbell’s Beef Broth
– 1/2 tsp coarsely ground Black Pepper
– 10 dashes Tabasco Sauce, twice
– 2 tsp Paprika
– 1/4 tsp Garlic Powder
– 1/2 tsp dried Rosemary
– 1/2 tsp dried Oregano
– 1/2 tsp Italian Seasoning
– 1/2 tsp coarse Sea Salt
– 1/2 tsp Chili Pepper Paste (see photo below, or mince your own favourite hot variety)
– 8 ounces of a hearty, small Pasta (Ditalini or Macaroni are perfect), cooked separately.

Can You Take the Heat (2)If you don’t have a pressure cooker, you can use a regular large soup pot or Dutch Oven. Fancy equipment is not needed. Most of the instructions are the same, however, when everything is combined, simmer for 1-2 hours.

Set the Fast Slow Cooker to Sauté for 30 minutes. Cook the Pancetta until mostly crisp. Add Garlic and sauté for a minute, being careful not to burn the Garlic. Add the Ground Beef, season with all of the Herbs, Chili Pepper Paste and Spices above (add 1 set of 10 dashes of Tabasco Sauce), crumble the Rosemary before adding and cook for about 10 minutes, until most of the fat has rendered and the Meat is mostly cooked through. Add the Onions and cook for about five minutes, until translucent. Add the remaining fresh Vegetables and sauté for another five minutes.  The timer should be done, or nearly done at this point. Add all of the drained, rinsed Beans and stir, cooking for approximately 5 minutes. Add the Tomatoes and all of its Juice from the can. Add the Ragu Sauce and the Beef Broth. Add water if you feel the soup is not ‘soupy’ enough. Add a good round or two of freshly ground Black Pepper and the second addition of Tabasco Sauce. Set the Fast Slow Cooker to ‘Pressure Cooker’ with the timer set for 45 minutes, on high pressure. When you’re ready to serve, cook the pasta to al dente in a separate pot (the pasta will soak up all your beautiful liquid if you cook it with the soup). To serve, place some cooked pasta in a deep soup bowl and ladle your soup over it. Grate Parmesan over the top if you wish.  Serve with warmed crusty bread slathered in butter – oh well it was pretty healthy up to that point ;-)  Enjoy!

Prep time: 20 Minutes, Cooking time 1/2 hour plus 45 minutes.

#GameNight Was a Blast

November 13, 2014 at 10:48 am | Posted in All Things Doodle, Caityisms, Contests, Family Ties, My Kid is a Donut, Product Testing, Sisters, Toeses and Noses | Leave a comment
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Lexy loved collecting the Monopoly Money - a capitalist at heart.

Lexy loved collecting the Monopoly Money – a capitalist at heart.

We recently received a copy of #MonopolyJunior from @Influenster free for review. I’m so glad we did because it was our first #GameNight in a while and the girls absolutely loved it.

Caity getting the game pieces ready

Caity getting the game pieces ready

After opening the box, the girls made quick work of setting the game up.  They were a great help, putting the board pieces in nice piles and helping to distribute the money and game Tokens.

Alex was the Banker and Caity, being the youngest, was the one who rolled first.  You should have heard the giggles of glee when Caity landed on a spot and was able to buy it.  That wasn’t as gigglesome though as when one of us landed on her property and had to pay her rent.  The little Slum Lord kept saying “oh yeah, more money, oh yeah…”.  She’s pretty silly :)

It was a good evening filled with laughter and the girls managed to get us to play a few games with them.  It was very easy for them to learn how to play.  The next day they played another few games on their own and after dinner their Dad and I joined them for a couple of matches.  Every day after school, when I pick them up from daycare, they make plans to play yet another game lol.

Caity taking a "Chance"

Caity taking a “Chance”

@Hasbro has done it again.  #MonopolyJR is sure to become a classic in our house and we will no doubt have many cherished memories of the girls.  I’m pretty sure I know what they plan on putting on their Christmas List to #Santa – more Hasbro games! Even the Cat tried to get in on the game a couple of times! ;-) 

Mavvy wants the Cat token!

Mavvy wants the Cat token!

Note: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.

 

Really..?

November 5, 2014 at 11:29 am | Posted in Miscellaneous Crap | Leave a comment
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Dear Anonymous “Friend” who likes to leave comments on my blog.  I’m sorry that your comments end up in the Spam folder, however when you write things such as “this is the most interesting information i find.  please post again on this fascinating subject”, I’m unlikely to accept you and give you permission to comment in the future.  Your use of spell check and command of the English language really endears yourself to my heart.  How could I possibly think your comments are anything but genuine in nature.

This is irritatingly close to those wonderful emails I receive at work addressed to “Dearest One” from some prince in Nairobi who has a confidential business transaction he must discuss with only me.  Sweet, I could use $25 million.  Sounds legit.

I do give the last guy credit though for saying that he ‘subscribes’ to updates he made on his previous comments but ends up receiving three emails and could I please remove him from this service.  Sure, no problem *Empties Spam Folder*.  Problem solved.  Have a nice day.

———–

See what I mean?  Today’s attempt at acceptance, I don’t have a clue what the hell they’re talking about.  Delete. : 

“This is the right blog for anyone who would like to understand this topic. You know a whole lot its almost hard to argue with you (not that I personally would want to…HaHa). You definitely put a brand new spin on a topic which has been written about for decades. Wonderful stuff, just great!”

Yet More Leftovers…

October 13, 2014 at 2:34 pm | Posted in Christmas, Food, Recipes | Leave a comment
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photo from www.pillsbury.com but mine looked like this!

Photo from http://www.pillsbury.com but mine looked like this!

Yes I know I recently posted another version of the pie but I needed to write this down before I forgot it, especially as it turned out really yummy.  Even the kids liked it, which says something.  I accomplished the impossible – make something that everyone wants to eat, and likes.

Yet another Thanksgiving has come and gone and another Turkey was cooked and leftovers made into a classic pie.  What you end up with is a version of this beauteous classic:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of leftover Turkey meat, your choice of white or dark or both
  • 1 cup frozen Peaches and Cream Corn
  • 2-4 cloves Garlic, minced (I used 4 large cloves because I love Garlic, but use to your preference)
  • 2 large Onions, diced
  • 1 stalk Celery, sliced
  • 3 small Potatoes, small diced
  • 1 pint Cremini Mushrooms, quartered (or smaller if the mushrooms are large)
  • 2 cups leftover Stock from the Turkey (or equivalent store bought Chicken Stock or Chicken base/bouillon)
  • 1 cup Milk (or half and half cream)
  • 1 cup leftover Turkey Gravy
  • 1 cup Cream of Mushroom Soup – about 1/2 can (optional) (I didn’t use it this time)
  • 1 tsp Poultry Seasoning, divided
  • 1 tsp Paprika, divided
  • 1 tsp Oregano, divided
  • 1 tsp Freshly ground Black Pepper, divided
  • 1 tsp coarse Kosher Salt, divided
  • 1 Stick (1/2 cup) Unsweetened Butter, divided
  • 1/4 cup Flour
  • 2 packages frozen Deep Dish Pie Crusts (total of 4 pieces)

Melt 1/2 stick of butter in a sauté pan over medium heat and add the onions.  Sauté for 5 minutes and add the garlic.  Sauté for a couple of minutes until the Garlic and Onions are fragrant.  Add the Potatoes and sauté for another 5 minutes.  Add the Celery and sauté for 5 minutes.  Add the Mushrooms and half each of Salt and Pepper, Poultry Seasoning, Oregano and Paprika.  Stir and sauté until the Potatoes are almost completely cooked.  Add the diced Turkey meat and frozen Corn.  Reduce heat stirring occasionally.

In a medium saucepot, melt the remaining butter and once melted and hot, add the flour, stirring to combine.  Add the remaining Spices and stir over medium heat for several minutes to cook the Flour through, browning the Roux slightly.  Slowly whisk in the Stock, careful not to pour in too much at once – let the sauce catch up before you add more.  Once the Stock has been added, stir until smooth and slowly add the Milk or half and half Cream.  Heat until bubbling, stirring occasionally.  When the sauce has thickened, add the Gravy and Cream of Mushroom Soup if using.  Heat through and pour mixture over the vegetable/turkey mix.  Combine and let cool slightly.

Remove pie shells from the freezer and their boxes to thaw.

Preheat oven to 425°F.  Divide the mixture between two pie shells.  Moisten the rim of the pie shell containing the filling with water and put on the top crust.  Crimp the edge using a fork and cut 3 one-inch slits on the top to allow the steam to escape.  Bake for 40-50 minutes, rotating the pan half way if you don’t have a convection oven.  Allow pie to sit for 15 minutes before slicing.

Pie can be frozen prior to baking.  Partially freeze pie before wrapping to not damage the crust, after an hour double wrap in plastic wrap and foil.  Can be frozen up to two months.

—–

Update:  we had the second one tonight.  Baked from frozen 1.5 hours at 375°F.  It was better than Sunday’s version, the flavours all melded and it was fantastic. Not an understatement! :)  this is how the finished product looked before we devoured it…

Omg so good!

Omg so good!

What Makes a Girly-Girl?

September 29, 2014 at 9:28 pm | Posted in All Things Doodle, Caityisms, Miscellaneous Crap, My Kid is a Donut, Toeses and Noses | Leave a comment
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Hello, my name is Kelly and I’m a nail polish addict.

I’m a firm believer in accessorizing and colour isn’t an option, it’s a requirement.

Let me back up on that last statement a bit and redefine it. I’m not talking about scarves, shoes and bracelets, although my love for designer shoes is another matter.

I’m talking about accessorizing yourself – hair, nails, skin.

I’ve always loved funky hair and nail colours. I’m not necessarily brave enough to try them on myself, but kudos to those that do. I have several different colours in my hair as we speak, but more in the “normal” spectrum. The wildest I had ever tried was a bright Auburn and black tips mixed with blonde. I loved it, but it was hard to maintain. I admit, I love Kelly Osbourne’s Lilac tresses (and her make-up line). The new on-trend Grey hair (Kelly Osbourne again) makes me giggle with glee. The latest bottle of bright, neon nail polish fills me with squee and makes me feel like a kid at Christmas – I can’t wait to try it on and experiment.

Caity, my 7-year-old, told me this weekend that she doesn’t like nail polish because she’s a Tom-boy. She looked at me like she was expecting me to tell her that I didn’t think that was acceptable. I think she was surprised that I told her that it was OK for her to be a Tom-boy and I was one too when I was her age. The few times I tried to put nail polish on her, she asked to have it removed two minutes later. She doesn’t think girls should have nail polish on their hands, yet she likes to wear headbands and bows and pretty dresses

I told Caity that I wasn’t a Girly-Girl. Then I heard my Husband snickering from the Kitchen.

I told him that Girly-Girls get their hair done and wear make-up and get their nails done at the Salon all the time. He rolled his eyes at me. I suppose it was hard to prove my case when I had just come back from getting my hair coloured the day before and had just finished applying my new Christian Dior Vernis Lacquer (“Pied du-Poule”, thank you very much) about an hour before that.

I think a true Girly-Girl is someone who wears dresses or skirts (I don’t), curls or flat-irons their hair (or at least blow dries it), wears high heels and always looks put together. That is so not me. I neither have the body, nor the budget for any of that. My idea of blow drying my hair is to drive with the windows down on my way to work. In fact, my hair was still damp when I wrote this from my shower this morning.

My oldest daughter, Lexy, on the other hand is a Fashionista in the making. She loves nail polish and clothes. She has to make sure her hair is perfect before she goes to school. She wants to have a couple of coloured extensions put in this Fall because she wants to experiment with colour, but not necessarily commit. I’m OK with that. I encourage her to be her own person.

I seem to be stuck in the middle of my two girls. A Girly-Girl wannabe.

My Little Fashionista

My Little Fashionista

Cheesecake!

September 11, 2014 at 2:02 pm | Posted in Food | Leave a comment
Tags: , , , , ,

I’m in a cooking mood lately and I thought I’d share this classic.  This is quite possibly my most favourite cheesecake.  Ever.  That’s quite a statement considering how many cheesecakes I’ve sampled in my life.  It’s also quite easy to make, surprisingly.

It’s like eating a really big Truffle.  So rich, easy, but soooo good!  Great with Coffee or just a big glass of Milk.  My husband prefers the chocolate chip version, so I haven’t made this one in a while.  I’m hoping when he reads it, it will make him want this one! ;-)

Ingredients (Crust):

  • 1½ Cups Oreo Cookie Crumbs
  •  2 Tbsp Butter or Margarine, melted

Ingredients (Cake):

  • 3 Packages (8 Ounces each) Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
  • ¾ Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla
  • 1 Package (8 squares) Baker’s Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate, melted, slightly cooled
  • 3 Eggs

Ingredients (Topping):

  • ½ Cup Whipping Cream
  • 4 Squares Baker’s Semi-Sweet Baking Chocolate
  • 1 Tsp Instant Coffee or Espresso Powder (optional for “mocha” flavouring)

Let all ingredients come to room temperature.  Preheat oven to 325°F.  Place a cake pan filled with warm water on the rack below the rack where you will put your cheesecake.  This will help create a humid environment and can prevent cracking.

Method (Crust):

  1. Melt Butter and combine with cookie crumbs.  This mixture should feel like damp sand.
  2. Press into the bottom of a 9″ spring form pan which was sprayed with non-stick vegetable spray (i.e., Pam).
  3. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from oven.

Method (Cake):

  1. In a bowl, mix Cream Cheese, Sugar and Vanilla until combined.
  2. Add Eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition, but do not overbeat.
  3. Melt Chocolate in a bowl in the microwave (start with 1 minute, stir, add 15 seconds more time if needed – be careful, Chocolate burns easily).
  4. Stir Chocolate and let stand for about a minute.  Add Chocolate to batter and mix until incorporated.
  5. Bake for 50 minutes.  Cake will still be loose in the centre when you remove it from the oven.
  6. Allow cake to cool before putting in the fridge.  Chill at least 8 hours or overnight before removing spring form ring (leave the bottom under the cake).

Method (Topping):

  1. To make the topping, in a small saucepan, heat whipping Cream to almost boiling.
  2. Remove from heat and stir in Coffee if using.
  3. Add the Chocolate and continue to stir slowly until incorporated (takes a minute or two).
  4. Once the sauce has come together, let it stand for a couple of minutes then pour over cake, allowing excess to drip over the side.
  5. Chill at least 2 hours for best results. Use a hot, dry knife to slice each piece.

Sometimes, depending on my mood, before the ganache sets, I’ll sprinkle the top with roasted, slivered almonds.  Or mini chocolate chips.  Or toasted, chopped hazelnuts … or … fresh, ripe raspberries!

For an extra treat, serve with some fresh Whipped Cream and sliced Strawberries.  Yum Yum!

Cheesecake.jpg

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