Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Cheesy Quinoa Bake

I tried this Quinoa Mac n' Cheese recipe last night, and it!  WAY better than I even expected.  So good, in fact, that I didn't even have a chance to take a picture of it before it was gone!

Here's my variation:

Serving Size: 8
  • 1 1/2 cups quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • Chicken broth (for cooking quinoa)
  • 3 tbs butter
  • 1/2 red pepper, chopped
  • 1/4 sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup diced summer sausage 
  • a few grinds of seasoning salt
  • 2 1/4 cups of panko crumbs (bread crumbs would be fine too)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup soy milk or non-fat milk
  • 3 cups grated extra old Cheddar cheese, more for sprinkling 

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Coat 13x9 inch dish with cooking spray.
  2. Cook quinoa to packaged instructions in chicken broth, until fully cooked. (About 15 minutes)
  3. Lightly saute the onion, pepper and garlic in the butter, for about 5 mins over medium heat.
  4. Just as the veggies are finishing up, throw in the summer sausage for about 2 mins.  Remove from heat.
  5. Mix together panko crumbs, Parmesan cheese and season salt.
  6. Whisk together eggs and milk in large bowl.  Add 2 cups of cheese.  Slowly add slightly cooled sauted veggies to milk/egg/cheese mixture.  Add quinoa.
  7. Stir very well and let some of the cheese melt.  Transfer to prepared baking dish and sprinkle with panko crumbs mixture.
  8. Bake 30-35 mins, until bread crumbs are browned. For extra crispy topping, broil on high for 3-4 mins.  (Be sure to watch will burn quickly. 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Fifteen Minutes

I know a few of my friends out there are familiar with RFML or for the newbies "Rants From Mommyland". This is far and away one of my favourite blogs.  To be fair, the only one that beats it out is DYAC (Damn You Autocorrect!), which pretty much has me in tears of laughter every day.  (How do you not love a blog that posts accidentally awkward texts?)

Anyway, last year, RFML put out a call for "kitschy" type things from around the home, and I sent them the following picture:

Some of you will recognize hangs next to the man (ahem) door between my garage and house.  My "backdoor", if you will.  It has been hanging there since the dawn of time, and is one of the many items inherited by us when we moved into my grandparents house.

Anyway, after a rather humourous email exchange with Kate and Lydia (the kick ass authors of RFML), they decided to hold a caption contest for my little photo.  Below is the blog post dedicated to that contest.  The comments are rid.ic.u.lous.

Probably the only thing that has made me laugh harder than DYAC...

Off to find something that could possibly top that for this year...

Buckman's Baby Bump - The Sequel - 8 weeks

Oh the tiredness!  The last few weeks have been rough...picked up a cold the beginning of September, and haven't been able to shake it.  Subsequently, I don't know if I'm tired from this stupid cold, being pregnant, or both.  Although, on days like today, I tend to lean toward the later.  I am EXHAUSTED.  Yawning all day, can hardly keep my eyes open exhausted.  And no, it has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I spent a fantastic weekend in Niagara Falls with my girlfriends Trev's ball team.

Am finding I have some of the same food cravings as with Eric...bagels and cream cheese, feta cheese, ice cream...the usual.  Although, I seem to be really put off by chicken at the moment.  Specifically chicken breast.  The stringy texture icks me out.  I'm hoping that I can still do dark meat, or Thanksgiving and Christmas are going to be terrible!

Going for my first appointment with the midwives on Wednesday.  Not expecting anything exciting...likely just some blood work drawn and then booking and appointment for the first ultrasound. 

Buckman's Baby Bump - The Sequel - 4 weeks

So here we are...about to be parents for the second time.  I'm ecstatic!  So far, so good.  Much like with Eric, I have been feeling great.  Although, I have had a couple mornings of nausea, it was nothing serious.  And the "girls" are a little more sensitive this time around.  And I keep "pulling" my lower abdomen muscles if I stand or turn to quickly.  That smarts pretty good.  And a little tiredness.  But all in all...feeling great!

Eric is very excited to be a big brother...well, as much as he can be, with the comprehension of a 2 year old.  He will already tell you where the baby "is" (by pointing to my belly).  When we asked him if mommy should have a baby, he said "Yes".  He DOES know what a baby is.  And when we asked him if he wanted to be a big brother, he said "Yes."  You got it buddy!  On a side note - Trev overheard me telling Eric that he was going to be a big brother, and said "How do you know?"...what?  Two seconds later he caught himself...oh right...the sex of the baby doesn't matter, Eric will be a big BROTHER no matter what.  Apparently baby brain isn't Mommy specific.

Waiting a little longer to announce the news this time around.  Not really for any specific reason...just because I want to.  To be fair, when I announced to the world I was pregnant with Eric at 5 weeks, some thought that was perhaps a bit risky.  Although, I never really worried about miscarrying with Eric.  Not really worried about it with this one either...just sort of want to keep the excitement for ourselves for a bit.

I love the beach...

Today, we decided to go to the beach.
I LOVE the beach...and after last summer, it was finally nice to be reunited.
But I forgot there would be sand.
We arrived, and got out of the car.
And my sandals were full of sand.
We set down our bags and spread out our towels.
And they were full of sand.
In the water, we all splashed and played with the spirit of a two year old.
And my bathing suit was filled with sand.
Silly me, forgot I brought a toddler...
And he ate the sand.
We dried off, "cleaned up" and headed back to the car.
And it, of course, is full of sand.
We headed home in the warm afternoon sun, dirty, wet and sleepy.
And my heart is fully of joy. And sand.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Try it, you'll like it! I promise!

I have to share a picture with you all that just gives me the "warm fuzzies" on the inside...partly because I just had TWENTY of my diapers replaced, for free, even though they were past warranty by 6 months and party because anything arranged in Roy G. Biv makes me smile.

(Let me tell you, CottonBabies REALLY stands behind their product, and they have a life long customer for it!  Well..."life long" being as long as I have a child in diapers!)  These are the new "Flip" diapers.  They are awesome.

Anyway, it also gave me a good excuse to (once again) extol the virtues of cloth diapering!

I have always stated that my main reason for cloth diapering (or cd-ing) is the cost savings.  It really does save you a ridiculous amount of money. A. LOT.  Regardless if you have to pay for utilities, such as water.  You. Will. Save. Money.  Period.  The fact that they- in my honest opinion - work better than disposables (FAR fewer poopy explosions with cloth) and are environmentally friendly was just a bonus.  Until I saw this segment on Good Morning America.  One of the stats they provide is that more than 50 MILLION disposable diapers are dumped in to landfills in the US EVERY DAY.  That's almost TWICE the population of Canada in diapers.  EVERYDAY.  18 BILLION diapers a year.  Now, I knew it was a lot, but I had no idea it was that much.  And that's JUST the US.
I also knew it took longer for disposables to break down, but couldn't quote you a I can.  FIVE HUNDRED YEARS.  That's right 5-0-0.  Our babies diapers will still be breaking down for 16 generations.  That's our great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchildren.  O.M.G.

Now, I feel I should fess up...Eric has not been exclusively cloth diapered.  He was in disposables for about the first 4 weeks, and then after that, in disposables for night time and outings.  Then around 9 months, we started exclusively cd'ing, even at night.  Turns out, the overnight contact with the ammonia gives him diaper rash, so we are back to a disposable at night.  But, by comparison - we are contributing about 365 diapers a year to a opposed to the average families 1875.  I think THAT is something to be proud of.  (Not to mention that's a savings of about $580 a year!)

I rave about my cloth diapers to my girlfriends (or anyone who will listen) every chance I get.  I really DO love it.  We recently had to use disposables for about 3 weeks straight, while my dipes were being replaced, and I HATED it.  They leaked, there were stinky garbages everywhere...ick.  They are far grosser to me than cloth.

Anyway, on to the BEST part!  A great store in Heslper (Cambridge) is offering a cloth diaper trial!  Eaton Family EcoBabies is offering a Cloth Diaper Trial that includes several of the most popular brands/types of cloth diapers!  Check it out here.  Kristin Eaton is WONDERFUL, and always available to answer any questions you have.

So I put the challenge to all of you - but ESPECIALLY my girlfriends who still have kids in diapers, or who are expecting (first OR second OR third - it's NEVER too late to start.)

And if you decide not to, that's ok too...but be prepared to answer me this:  Give me ONE good reason why not.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Meal Planning

So, I have been trying for days now to sit down and blog about this.  My new best friend.  It's called Dine Without Whine.

Dine Without Whine - A Family Friendly Weekly Menu Plan

I. Love. This.

Basically, it's a service that I signed up for a couple of weeks ago.  It cost me all of $17 for three months.  And what do I get for said $17?  Each week, they email me dinner recipes for seven days (including suggestions or recipes for side dishes), and also two desserts and two brunch recipes.  BUT the BEST part about it...they also send the shopping list!
Or is the best part that it has cut down our grocery bill in a BIG way?  Like, probably $50 a week.
Or the fact that I have probably eaten more vegetables and fruit in the last two weeks than I have in the last two months combined?
Or that we're not throwing out produce like we used to?
Or maybe that Trev can start dinner himself, when he gets home an hour before I do?
And that he can take the leftovers in his lunch.
Or that it's NORMAL food, that's good for you, tastes amazing, and is easily adaptable to your own taste?

You see, my problem has always been that I HATE having to think about what we're going to have to dinner by the time I get home from work.  I am sure you're all no stranger to this feeling...and our eating habits (specifically mine) were suffering BADLY.  I really want to foster healthy eating habits in Eric, and so it was time I finally did something about it.
I decided to organize myself while Trevor was gone to camp for a week.  And to make it fun, I even incorporated a fun "scrapbook" project as part of my organization.

Take a look...

Really, this was partly an excuse to use my Cricut...(shoutout to all you scrappers out there.) make the "days of the week".

So, as you can see, I have seven cupboards lining the inside of my kitchen.  All I have to do is stick up the dinner we're having that night, and VIOLA!  I can come home a brainless zombie, and still make a delicious, nutritious meal for me and my family.

(Note:  Please ignore the fact that only one day has a "meal" posted.  Tuesday has tomorrows meal, Wed/Thurs I am cooking meals I don't need recipes for, and we're gone to the cottage from Fri. to Mon.)

Just this one small change has created a "ripple" effect:

Trevor actually helped prepare one of the meals last week, and said how much he enjoyed being in the kitchen together.

We no longer have dishes piled up on the counter...somehow we are motivated to put the dishes in the dishwasher right away.  (For those of you that know me, you can now pick your jaw up off the floor.)

We have, without even trying, started to sit down as a family every night to eat dinner.  That was something that has always been important to Trev and I, but without a good, solid meal to draw us to the table, it seemed like a wasted effort.

In a nutshell...for $17 I have given my family: nutrition, savings, cooking skills, tradition and something other than sandwiches for lunch.  Not a bad deal, if I do say so myself.