Saturday, February 26, 2011

Recipes from the past....

For a while now I have been wanting to make Oatmeal cookies. DH has had a craving for them and all the ones at stores and bakeries seem to always be Oatmeal and?? otherwards with raisins, choco.chips, nuts etc....
I don't bake as much as I used to ....more a cooking person, but I went on a search for the elusive Oatmeal Cookie, trying to avoid using the internet. Instead I started sorting through my large collection of recipes in books and papers etc...etc.... I came up with a few recipes, but they just didn't seem to fit the had 1 cup of oil, another was a version of Dad's cookies with coconut etc...etc.. So finally I thought.....hmmmm.....I have my mom's recipe box here...I wonder if she had a recipe in there, after all she made a lot of oatmeal cookies in her day.

Well...I lucked out. A neatly typed recipe for Oatmeal Cookies using milk and no eggs was well worn and stained, thereby proving it to be one of her regulars for the cookie jar!!

I followed the recipe to the letter only adding a teaspoon of vanilla and they turned out great!!
Here's the first batch in (with my new silicon baking mats)....
...and the last batch out.....

My mom was strictly a recipe person when it came to her baking and cooking....but some of her recipes were memorable. I count myself lucky to be in possession of a goodly portion of her cookbooks and recipe many memories of family dinners, the ever filled cookie jar whenever we (and our children) arrived for a she liked and borrowed from aunts and cousins and friends. The freezer was a boon to her....she ended up getting a second freezer just to put baked goods in....and she was doing that well into her eighties.

The other night I pulled out some of the cookbooks that she had used over the years and thumbed through them stopping at the well worn pages that were stained and there was always a recipe for something I remember from my childhood. I hope to do more baking of these recipes over the next little while and I'll post when I do.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Lunch time!!

I love having lunch at home....
That's not to say I don't like eating out...I do, but lunch at home is made and designed by me and for the most part has the same or similar ingredients every time, and every time I always feel like more!!

What I Eat.... a sandwich, carrot sticks with a spoonful of hummus and a piece of fruit.
Now this all sounds pretty plain...but it's the making of the sammie that makes the difference!!
I usually use whole grain artisan bread which is not too too big, dijon mustard, olive oil mayo, my mother's recipe relish, and thin sliced cold cuts of either turkey or chicken. Sometimes I add sliced cucumber or tomato as well and then I pile on the greens....usually organic herb greens and this particular time I also added chopped cilantro...(I love cilantro!) The challenge then is to actually put the lid on the sammie....I have been known to keep it together with a toothpick a la restaurant style. We recently started adding carrot sticks (not sure why) and so one large carrot does both DH and I and I chop it in four large pieces and then make many thin carrots sticks evenly divided between the two of us. Today I had a slightly over ripe pear which was tasty. Usually I have a pear a little on the crisp side or an apple. If we don't have carrots we have dill...DH sweet.  This is usually accompanied by a cup of coffee or tea or in my case a glass of Perrier.

How I eat it.... We sit at the dining room table, he with his book and I with mine (usually propped up on something, in this case a recipe binder) using a place mat. I'm sure there are people who would say that sitting at the table eating together is a time for chatting etc....and we do...sometimes...but quite frankly we are both more comfortable reading and enjoying our food. Yes...we do taste our food despite getting engrossed in a book....because the food is THAT good!! I don't eat fast... I stop reading, look out the window at the gorgeous view, give the dog a tidbit of bread or all in all it's a very pleasant experience.

...and that's my lunch time!!

There are two more pics I wanted to share, of kitchen  things I got for Christmas....

Two bamboo cutting boards from our son and daughter in law and a new coffee mug from our daughter and son in law. I've needed new cutting boards for years and so put them on my Christmas list. One is for bread and one is for veggies....I have a separate acrylic one that I use for meat. I notice in the picture there are what look like white spots on the boards....they are just dry spots as the boards had been washed and were still drying out when I took the pictures.

The mug is huge and lovely and soooo me!!
It's made so one can wrap their hand around the mug and get the warmth.....just looove it!! Apparently the artist makes them for left handed people as well. How cool is that!!!


Tuesday, February 15, 2011

A walk on the dike......

Today was a glorious sunny and brisk day.....perfect for walking!
We have a path along the dike beside the Thompson River next to the airport. It's flat, in relatively good shape, and a favourite for those of us with long as you follow the rules....leashed and clean up. The leashed part of it is a new rule and for the most part is rarely followed. We leash our pooch when other dogs or people are around....if there's no one we let him loose to wander as long as he stays close....which he does. We clean up always but that's not always the case with other pet owners and that's frustrating....however, I digress....
I took a few photos, one when we started out and then the rest when I did my rest on the bench and DH and Chauncey wandered off.

When we arrived, the regular parking lot was flooded, so we parked onto one side and took a smaller and somewhat muddier path to the dike. That isn't our dog by the way....someone arrived as I was taking the pic.

After we walked to the bench....DH explored the rocks on the dike as he noticed others were on the sandbar with their you can see...he ....and Chauncey made the trek down. 
Now they're strolling across the sandbar....which, I might add, occurs when the river level goes down in the winter ...and also during the dry spells in the summer.
 Meanwhile I took some pictures of the airport.....
...looking back the way we came and the control tower in the distance.....
..and then back towards Kamloops...up river. I was going to take some more pictures of the path going west but my attention was distracted by my two men (human and canine) walking on the sand!!
 Heading toward the river...with Chauncey being diverted by..something....

In the distance....if you scrunch up your can see them....and I gather Chauncey stopped soon after this and refused to which point they headed back.
The background here is railway along the rivers edge and above is the transfer station for Kamloops' refuse (polite word for garbage) I have to give them credit's not too bad looking....neatly terraced. 
This is where I called Chauncey and he came running ....until he saw the rocks and then he waited for "daddy" to show him what to do......

 An interesting smell kept him occupied until DH showed up.....see his pompom tail???

Ah...finally..." OK Dad....tell me what to do now....where do I go???"
DH is coaxing him and he was through it in no time.  Whatta pooch!!!

So after we finished our walk.....we went into Kamloops to do a few errands and I took these pictures to amuse myself whilst DH was in buying dog food!!!
 Kamloops is a railway town...and everywhere you go...even during a walk on the dike, you see trains....downtown, in the eastern and western suburbs and the northern suburbs. The city is a hub for both the CN and CP railway and the Rocky Mountaineer
These two pictures show the trains that run right up behind the vet's where we get our dog food. 
     ...and this is just an interesting tree I wanted to take a picture of across the road from the vet's office.

Getting back to the trains....while we were walking on the dike, one long train went  by on the other side of the airport and two went by across the river and sand bar from where we were walking. We hear them at night rumbling along  on the tracks below our street...and in a way...I find it somewhat comforting. No matter what .....the railways always seem to keep going.


Monday, February 14, 2011

New acquisitions for the foodie in me and something else.........

Well...hi there!! Long time no see.

My life in the food and cooking lane has been eventful and over the next little while I'll post pics etc....

But for now....I just want to show pics of the three new things in my kitchen that I loooove....and one new thing in my workshop. 
My children and husband were generous to me this Christmas ....wish lists do have their uses...:-)

First of 14 cup GE Food Processer. This came about because I discovered the benefits of doing pastry in the food processor....quick and easy and very flaky. However, my old Braun Food Processor could only do a recipe for 1 double crust pie...and my favourite recipe makes enough pastry for 2 double crust and a single crust pie.....the old standby Never Fail Pastry. My daughter has a 14 cup food processor and from the moment I saw it I coveted it mightily. The hints began early and websites were perused...and between them, daughter and hubby came up with this GE surprise at Christmas.....

I have not yet used it for pastry, but I have made almond butter and sunflower seed butter in it and have plans for much more good stuff!! We still have a stock of pies in the freezer (stock meaning 2 or 3 which is more than enough for us for the winter) so I'm thinking that the pastry may have to wait until the spring. As it happens my 20 year old Braun kicked the bucket just before Christmas (through no fault of mine I assure you!) so timing was perfect.

The other kitchen delight I received for Christmas was new dinnerware. Our old dinnerware was bits and pieces from the years when the kids were in it definitely was time!!  This came from our daughter and her hubby....I had a specific style in mind and they caught it perfectly.

There is something about the white porcelain square plates that sets off a colourful food presentation beautifully. We even feel rather special enjoying our lunch time sandwiches and carrot sticks (with a spoonful of hummus on the side). It's all so...well....just right!! Then there's the yogurt breakfast bowl with fruit and granola...sigh.....words fail me!! So appealing to the senses!!

The last kitchen "acquisition" is something I bought for myself. I've been wanting a proper Dutch Oven for ages.....preferably enamel coated cast iron...a la "Le Creuset".....something I can start on the stove and finish in the oven. Pricewise they are pretty much out of my reach......however......
The other brand I love is Kitchen Aid and they also have the above mentioned Dutch Ovens....also quite expensive. ...but......Canadian Tire (bless their little pea pickin' hearts) had an oval one... regular price $99.00 on sale for $29.95. I really couldn't pass it I didn't .

To say I am over the moon would be putting things mildly. I can't wait to try it out. I so love the colour too. It's a perfect size for us, not too big...3.5 qts.....but big enough if we have company. My mind is whirling around with possibilities!!!

The last Christmas biggie that I got from my son and daughter in law and grandson was also from my wishlist....a small boombox that provided speakers for my IPod so I can listen to podcasts while I'm pedalling away on my recumbent bike. It's beautiful and works a treat....and is also an FM radio.

Listening to my IPod while at the gym using ear buds was ok, but I just couldn't get used to using the ear buds at home....I much prefer the "all round" sound of speakers....

So there you have it....
I have lots of ideas for further topics.....just have to get the mind up and running again after a long hiatus....